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Full text of "Turning Points: Great Questions for Young Men and Women"

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Publishers of Christian Literature 




Copyright, 1S90, by 
John L. Brandt. 

Copyright, 1892, by 
John L. Brandt. 



Introduction v-xii 

1. Privileges of the Present, and How to Embrace Them I_ I7 

2. Business: How to Choose It, and How to Succeed in It 18—36 

- 3. Character, and How to Build It 37—55 

4. Associates, and How to Choose Them 56-6S 

5. Language, and How to Use It 69-81 

6. Marriage, and How to Consider It Si-ioi 

7. Purpose, and How to Effect It 102-110 

8. Small Beginnings, and How to Cherish Them 11 1— 123 

9. Home, and How to Adorn It 124-135 

10. Heroes, and Who They Are 136-150 

11. Women: Their Powers and Their Duties 151-173 

12. Fast Young Men : Their Ruin and Restoration 174-185 

13. Questions of the Age, and Who are to Decide Them 186-200 

14. Reading, its Importance and Advantages 201-234 

15. Money, and How to Use It 235-254 

16. Time, and How to Improve It 255-272 

17. Ambitions, Noble and Ignoble 273-295 

18. Turning Points in Science and History 296-308 

19. Godliness, and its Profitableness 309-319 

20. Sin, and What to Do with It 320-332 

21. Jesus Christ, and What to Do with Him 333~343 

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The builder of this house has invited me to con- 
struct its vestibule. The old Romans, from whom 
our architects borrow this plan of entrance, were 
accustomed to pause but a moment here. The atrium, 
where the family gathered, where the domestic altar 
was raised, and the images of the master's ancestors 
looked down from the walls, and the triclinium, where 
the meals were served, had a far richer interest, which 
hastened the feet of the guest. Passing through this 
entrance way, all the hospitalities of a well-ordered 
house await you. 

To-day the entertainment that is provided by this 
generous host is for the young. In the hall of images, 
into which you will presently enter, he will point out to 
vou splendid ideals, noble characters for your instruc- 
tion and inspiration ; at his table he will supply you 
with food for mind and spirit, more helpful than any 
feast Lucullus could spread. This is an age in which 
young men and women are appreciated. Science 
makes its best efforts in their interest. Literature 
spreads its tables with richest fruits for their enjoy- 


ment. Government enacts its wisest laws for their 
protection. Religion seeks in every way to enlist 
their powers and direct their genius toward divine 
ends. Our Sunday-schools, our Bands of Hope, our 
Young People's Societies of Christian Endeavor, out 
Young Men's Christian Associations, indicate the 
awakening on the part of the church of this century 
to the claims of youth. We welcome every new and 
wise effort in this direction. 

The needs of young men and women are manifest. 
Such great inquiries as are treated in these pages 
confront all young people in every place and age. 
Without wisdom and experience, or the suggestions 
from others which these can prompt, thousands must 
fail in their solution. All around us to-day we may 
behold such failures. While the friends of the young 
are more thoroughly enlisted than ever before in noble 
endeavors on their behalf, their enemies are more 
numerous and skillful, and cruel as well. The perils 
of the present keep pace with its privileges, No 
parent, no pastor, no philanthropist, can afford to be 
blind to the pitfalls and snares that are cunningly 
devised by the great enemy of mankind to destroy 
the children and the young men and women of our 
time. The saloon was never more active, the theater 
was never more unclean, the club, the beer-garden, 
the pool-room were never more vicious, the leprous 
page was never more widely circulated, the allurement 


to its vices of profanity, gaming, unchastity, dis- 
honesty, irreverence and untruth was never more 
subtile and powerful. What is the result? Seven 
millions of young men in America to-day, and over 
five millions of them non-church goers ; ninety-five, 
we are told, out of every hundred do not belong to 
the church, and ninety-seven out of every hundred 
do nothing to spread Christianity ; while sixty-seven 
out of every hundred criminals are young men, and 
our young are the chief patrons of the saloon, the 
gambling hell, the low theaters and the houses of 
the blackness of darkness. Fifteen hundred millions 
go for whisky and tobacco yearly in Christian Amer- 
ica. Two hundred and fifty thousand saloons are run- 
ning night and day to accomplish their fearful work, 
and seventy thousand criminals crowd our prisons. 
Every year about one hundred thousand people are 
put in the common jail for the first time ; and while 
our population doubles every twenty-five years, the 
number of criminals doubles every ten. The great 
multitude of these consists of young men and boys. 
How do we account for it ? The explanation is easy. 
At the nation's capital are thirty thousand young 
white men, between the ages of sixteen and thirty- 
five. Of these, two thousand nine hundred and seven 
are members of churches. According to actual count, 
three hundred and sixty-five young men were seen 
entering ten saloons in one hour; one hundred and 


sixty-five were seen entering ten of our leading 
churches the same evening in one hour ; eight hundred 
and eighteen were seen to enter two low theaters, 
and at ten young people's meetings the attendance of 
young men was one hundred and eighty-three. 
Edmund Burke said: "Tell me the opinions of the 
young men of a generation or a nation, and I will 
^cast the horoscope of its future destiny." What 
would the stars tell him here ? It is alarming to note 
the activity of satanic agencies in our time to cor- 
rupt the youth. Our very boys are enticed and ruined 
even before the dew of childhood has been brushed 
from their cheeks. Recently the writer, visiting the 
city prison, spoke to a boy behind the grating of his 
cell, and asked, " How old are you ?" And the child 
answered, "I'm nine; goin' on ten." Think of 
sunny childhood behind prison bars ! A child of 
eight years of age was arrested in Jersey City not 
long ago for burglary. He was caught in the act. 
He said, however, that he had never entered a place 
before. He had only stood guard for others, or "laid 
outside a watchin' for de cops." When asked what 
he would have done if he had seen a policeman, he 
replied, "I'd say, 'Cheese it! A cop!' and den 
I 'd run." A boy only eight years of age, an age 
with which we associate the freshness of daybreak 
and the brightness of the morning star, versed only 
in the language of the slums, and at the first start in 


life taking the direct road to the gallows! Nor do 
these temptations exist only for young men, and these 
illustrations of their savage cruelty appear only in the 
ranks of the stronger sex. Our young women, in whose 
hearts every lovely plant should spring up, and every 
beauteous bloom should flourish, as the soft and deli- 
cate tread of the Grecian goddess caused every green 
herb and lovely flower to spring upon the island of 
C)'prus, too often show a noxious growth that comes 
from a terrible seed-sowing. The sad story of Jennie 
Cramer is not a thing which occurs only in the land 
of steady habits, and once in a generation. The ruin 
and murder of that bright and beautiful girl was sim- 
ply the result of too much laxity of parental discipline, 
freedom from the restraints of a well-ordered home, and 
associations with vicious companions. For our boys 
and girls, for our young men and young women, there is 
but one perfect safety, and that in the inculcation of 
Christian principles in the sheltering protection of Chris- 
tian homes, in Christ himself. And the cause of the 
vast sum of this misery and wreck in early life is want 
of correct answers to these great questions; need of 
skill in passing the turning points in life. We owe a 
paean of praise, therefore, to every man who aims 

" To stimulate to true and noble life 

The young existence, self-contained no longer ; 
But passing outward, hour by hour, 

Fired with a thirst continually stronger 
For some supreme white flower." 


It is not, however, on the ground of protection 
from evil only that such counsel as -these pages afford 
is needed, but for the development of youth, and its 
direction along the lines of highest and most permanent 
good. The possibilities of life must be appreciated. 
Youth must not only be saved from Satan, but used for 
God. Ambitious for the achievement of the very best 
that is possible to them in life, every young man and 
woman must wrestle with these problems. It is as 
remarkable as it is seldom observed how many of 
the world's great ones have seized upon the serious 
things of life and accomplished their work in compara- 
tive youth. Moses was a young man when he began 
his work. David, at eighteen years of age, slew the 
giant of the Philistines. Solomon, at twenty, as- 
cended the throne. Josiah died a young man, 
lamented by all the people. Daniel was a young 
man when he withstood the idolatrous practices of a 
great nation. Our Saviour finished his work on the 
cross when a young man. Coming away from the 
Bible, we have but to glance at the history of the 
world to see how potent youth has been as a factor in 
human affairs. Alexander, while almost a boy, be- 
came a world-wide conqueror. Napoleon, at the age 
of twenty-seven, executed that brilliant campaign of 
Italy which stamped him the foremost captain of his 
age, drove back the routed Austrians to their capital, 
treated with the haughtiest monarch of Europe as an 


equal, and exacted from the terrified house of Haps- 
burg peace on his own terms. Pitt was but a youth 
when he was the greatest political genius of his time. 
Calvin, at twenty-seven, put forth those Institutes 
which have so profoundly affected the theological 
thought of the world for centuries. Keats, "the 
divine singer, "was only a youth. Chatterton, "the 
marvelous boy who perished in his pride," died at 
eighteen. Macaulay was the critical dictator of En- 
gland when quite young. At twenty-seven Summer- 
ville ascended, leaving a name which the church will 
not willingly let die. The possibilities of youth can 
not be measured. Over every new-born babe the 
question may well be asked that presented itself be- 
side the cradle of the forerunner of Christ, " What 
manner of child shall this be ?" Before every band of 
boys men may well lift their hats, after the manner of 
old John Trebonius, the teacher of Luther, in the 
presence of his school, who said he knew not what 
statesmen, philosophers, or doctors of the law might 
be among them, and who, even then, had among his 
pupils "the solitary monk that shook the world." 
Before every girl that crosses the mysterious threshold 
of life there may lie in the vast unfoldings of the 
future the sin and the hell of a Messalina, or the 
service and heaven of a Mary. How important, then, 
that every wise help should be extended by the 
world's teachers, and every generous assistance should 


be accepted by the world's learners in passing the 
"Turning Points in Life !" 

But we linger too long in the vestibule. We must 
advance, at the kindly invitation of our host, to the 
mysteries of his inner chambers. No man or 
woman can expect success in life without seriously 
considering these great questions. Could Stanley 
have gained the coast as the world's greatest ex- 
plorer without the trial of the forests and swamps, 
the fever and poison-tipped arrows of the savages of 
the Dark Continent ? Can men and women attain the 
heights of wisdom without stooping first to find the 
key that unlocks her secrets ? 

In the words of the great poet whose ashes were 
put away beneath the sod of sunny Italy : 

"Are there not, dear Michael, 
Two points in the adventure of the diver ? 
One— when a beggar, he prepares to plunge? 
One — when a prince, he rises with his pearl ? 
Festus, I plunge." 

F. D. Power. 
Washington D. C. 




Everything speaks of progress. Every telegraph and 
every printing press proclaims the world's progress; the 
ruins of the past — of nations, of governments, of relig- 
ions, of pyramids and of amphitheaters, proclaim the 
world's progress ; every school-house, every asylum, 
and every church, proclaims the world's progress ; 
every farmer, every merchant, every scientist, every 
philosopher, every statesman, every philanthropist, 
every teacher, every missionary, and every preacher, 
proclaims the world's progress ; commerce, science, 
government, philosophy, morals and religion, proclaim 
the world's progress. Everything speaks of growth, 
development and advancement. 

The pages of history carefully mark the great prog- 
ress which has been made by humanity since the be- 
ginning of the world. At first, society was crude, the 
secrets of nature were hidden in the air, the earth and 
the sea. The great need of advancement was written 
everywhere, and felt in every direction by suffering 


humanity. In course of time man began to rise from the 
lower toward the higher nature, from the physical 
toward the spiritual, and from the imperfect toward the 

Decade after decade, and age after age have rolled 
away into oblivion, each producing a better civilization 
than the one before ; each accomplishing greater results 
than the one before, until we have handed down to us 
the accumulated histories, warnings, blessings and 
effects of sixty centuries. Thus we are enabled to en- 
joy the results, works, discoveries, histories and inven- 
tions of all the ages. We have the advantage of all 
the failures and successes made by the Abyssinians, 
the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, the 
Grecians, the Romans, and the Israelites. We have 
focused into this age all that has been given to the 
world in the way of philanthropy, heroism, thought 
and love, by the fathers and forefathers of France, 
Germany, Spain, Russia, England and America. We 
have the biographies of the world's greatest men and 
women of all ages and of all nations. The evils which 
have been done, and the errors which have been made 
in the past, are all committed into our hands to give us 
warning. The good which has been done, the valu- 
able discoveries which have been made, and all the no- 
ble achievements which man's wisdom, art, and device 
have produced, are committed into our hands for our 
use, profit, example, and inspiration. Hence we stand 
on the topmost round, and occupy the most advanced 
position in all the history of the world. 

In the beginning of time God gave a ray of light 
to Adam ; later on he walked with Enoch and commu- 
nicated more light to him ; later on he spread the rain- 


bow over Noah, and made him a preacher of righteous- 
ness ; later on he made covenant with and promises to 
Abraham ; later on he descended upon Mount Sinai 
with a multitude of angels, and gave to Moses the law 
and additional disclosures of his will respecting man ; 
later on he inspired the harp of David, then enlarged 
the visions of Isaiah, then made additional revelations 
to Daniel, and then promised Malachi that he would 
soon send the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his 
wings. In the fullness of time, all of this light and these 
promises culminated in the coming of Christ, who was 
born in Bethlehem of Judea. His mission was to 
bring in the last will and testament of God ; to make 
known God's will toward man ; to disclose the purpose 
and future of man ; to provide salvation for man ; 
to abolish false religions, and to give the world 
a religion adapted and suited to the wants of all men 
in all parts of the earth, and for all generations to 

The time of Christ marked a great age in the his- 
tory of the world. People who lived a t that time en- 
joyed many privileges which had never before been 
enjoyed ; they had advantages which all other prophets, 
priests, kings, and people had not. In them culminated 
the glorious truths which had been gathered during all 
past ages ; they witnessed the fufillment of predictions 
and prophecies which had been made during thousands 
of years prior to that period ; they saw, face to face and 
side by side, Him whom prophets, priests, and kings de- 
sired to see, and saw only in promise. They heard 
from the lips cf the divine Man words of truth, sober- 
ness, and salvation, which prophets, priests, kings, and 
people had for ages desired to hear, and heard not. 


They enjoyed living in the time and age which all 
others had diligently searched for and inquired after. 
They enjoyed the presence of him whom the angels 
loved. They had revelations of God, life, death, sin, 
pardon, resurrection of the dead, judgment and heaven, of 
which rhe prophets knew nothing. They were given the 
spirit, the power, the motives and the knowledge which 
the world had long desired, but possessed not. They 
were made the inaugurators of a religion which was to 
embrace all the world ; which was to revolutionize the 
habits and customs of man ; to overthrow tyrannies ; 
to give the oil of joy to the sorrowing; to give hope 
to the despondent; and to furnish a perfect model 
of light, truth, love, manliness and devotion to all men. 

Thus we see the privileges of the people who lived V 
during the time of Christ were far superior to the 
privileges of those who lived prior to that time ; 
and as we, to-day, look back over these eighteen 
hundred years, can we not say that our privileges 
and advantages are as much superior to the priv- 
ileges of those who lived in the apostolic age, as 
theirs were superior to those of the ages beyond 
them? We, to-day, not only enjoy all that they saw 
and heard, but have the accumulated results of eigh- 
teen hundred years of history and progress, which they 
possessed net. Let us consider some of the privileges 
and advantages of the present age. 

Consider the privileges and advantages enjoyed under 
the present form of government. The history of govern- 
ment has been truly wonderful. One of the most 
characteristic advances has been made in the science of 
government. It has been a history of anarchies, tyran- 
nies, dynasties, nobilities, and despotism. In the study 


of government we find thrones have been wrecked, civ- 
ilizations have been crumbled, and nations have been 
blotted out. Why ? Because of the superior rights 
vested in kings and rulers. In this trace we first find 
slavery, then vassals, then subjects, then freedmen. 
First anarchies, then empires, then kingdoms, and then 
republics. There has been a great growth from the 
low into the higher forms of government— from ruling 
by force to ruling by diplomacy and statesmanship. It 
was little over a century ago that the declaration was 
signed which made all men equal. The world was a long 
time in struggling up to that declaration — to that highest 
of all forms of governments. The influence of our gov- 
ernment is seen to-day, in its effects, to lessen the fre- 
quency and atrocity of war. In past ages all great 
questions between nations were settled by war ; but to- 
day how different. When difficulties arise, men resort 
to diplomacy and arbitration. War to-day is declared 
as a last resort, and only as a very painful necessity. 
In past ages the terrors of war were dreadful. The con- 
quering army would drag their slaughtered enemies be- 
hind their chariots ; throw their dead bodies to the vul- 
tures ; burn their cities ; impale their chief inhabitants; 
bind their women and children to slavery and oppression. 
They pursued the defeated soldiers, openly slew them, 
and cut them down until none remained. They offered 
no mercy to the suppliant and surrendering enemy. 
How different to-day ! When men go to war it is with 
pain and dread that they open fire upon their enemies ; 
and when any army is defeated the victors give to 
them quarter, aid in burying their dead, in doctor- 
ing their wounded, and respect their wives and chil- 


The benefits and advantages of our government are 
also seen in the many and equal liberties which it has 
procured for all its citizens. In past ages liberty was 
unknown. It was said of kings : "Of whom they 
would, they set up ; of whom they would, they put 
down ; and of whom they would, they slew ; and of 
whom they would, they kept alive." All rights were 
vested in them. They could condemn and sentence 
without giving the accused trial. Only Roman citizens 
had the privilege of appealing for trial before condem- 
nation. Not so to-day, save in uncivilized countries. 
Our government grants to the lowest and meanest 
citizen of our land the privilege of a fair and im- 
partial trial. We also enjoy the liberty of speech, of 
the press, and of public worship, which liberties were 
not enjoyed during past ages. To-day we can assem- 
ble peaceably for the discussion and consideration of 
any and all questions. The privileges and advantages 
of our government are also seen in the protection which 
we enjoy. Our personal rights are protected, our prop- 
erty is protected, our health is protected, and our lives 
are protected ; protection given to the poor, to the 
unfortunate ; protection given to women, such as has 
never heretofore been witnessed in the world". In past 
(ages husbands could put away their wives without any 
?cause whatever. Not so to-day. In past ages polyg- 
amy prevailed over the whole world. Not so to-day. 
Women to-day are allowed the privilege of engaging in 
all businesses and professions. They are respected, 
and they share equal rights and honors with their hus- 
bands. These things were unknown in the past ; un- 
known until Christianity worked up through the 
government, and swept away the abuses and serfdom 


which were imposed upon women, and granted to 
them the rights and privileges which they now 

Let us consider the advantages and privileges of the 
present in the material universe. Great attention is now 
being paid to the practical achievements of man. The 
spirit of the age runs into material prosperity. The 
geologist with his hammer, the sailor with his vessel, 
the printer with his press, the explorer with his discov- 
eries, the genius with his inventions, and the scientist 
with his dissecting knives, have produced an age unsur- 
passed in material development. They have drawn the 
" waters from wells that are sixty centuries deep ; " an- 
alyzed and used natural laws, explored the land 
and sea, and produced an age of sublime, bewildering 
and practical achievements. Behold the homes of to-day. 
Never before were there so many happy homes ; never 
so many dwellings erected on such an elaborate scale, 
so conveniently arranged, so comfortably furnished, and 
so beautifully adorned as to-day. The Queen of Sheba in 
all her beauty, Solomon in all his glory, Hannibal in 
all his victories, and Alexander in all his greatness, 
never looked through a pane of glass, never walked 
upon Brussels carpet, never listened to such sweet mu- 
sic, never heard the striking of such clocks, never be- 
held such libraries, and never sat down to such luxuri- 
ous tables as we enjoy to-day. This progress is equally 
remarkable in the agricidtural implements. In olden 
times they tore up the earth with a crooked stick ; then, 
with a rope of twisted straw attached to an ox, they 
pulled a wooden plough through the earth. Next came 
the common iron plow ; but to-day steel plows are pulled 
across the land by steam, which turn several feet of 


sod at the same time. • In olden times they pulled up the 
grain from the earth ; the age advanced, then they be- 
gan to use the sickle, then the scythe, then the cradle. 
But to-day we have the self-binder, and the machine 
\ hich cuts the grain, threshes it, and sacks it in the 
field. This progress is seen in the vehicles of travel. 
Caesar, in all his travels; Socrates, in search of knowl- 
edge; and Mohammed, In all his marches, never rode 
in a vehicle with springs, or dreamed of the steam 
power which played with the lid of the kettle. From 
the chariot without springs, the world advanced to 
wagons, buggies, hacks, carriages, and barouches, with 
springs and cushioned seats ; and from these we step 
into palace cars, drawn by steam engines, which 
abridge distance and reduce space. In olden times 
they traveled on the water upon logs, then in rude dug- 
outs, then in skiffs, then in canoes, then in sailing ves- 
sels ; but now the mighty steamboats, with their heavy 
cargoes, plow through the water at the rate of 
four hundred to six hundred miles a day. The prog- 
ress and the privileges of the present can also be seen 
in the labor-saving machinery. To-day there is machinery 
to make shoes, hats, and wearing apparel ; in the past 
they had none. To-day we have machinery to make 
chairs, tables, desks and beds ; they had none. To-day 
we have machinery to make agricultural implements 
and manufacturing appurtenances ; they had none. To- 
day we have machinery to print and bind books ; they 
had none. To-day we have machinery to bore the 
earth and burst the rocks ; they had none. We to-day 
enjoy hundreds of advantages accruing from man's de- 
vice and invention, which they had not during the dark- 
ages of the past. The telescope, with which we survey 


the heavens ; the electric wires, by which we speed our 
thoughts from nation to nation, and city to city ; the 
printing press, by which the world is converted into an 
auditorium ; the audiphone, by which the dead are 
made to speak ; the telephone, by which we hold con- 
versation with our distant friends ; the stenograph, 
by which we write as rapidly as we speak ; the eleva- 
tor, by which we speed from floor to floor ; the steam 
engine, by which we unite our interests and states ; 
the microscope, by which we detect the wonders of 
the waters, rocks and sand ; gunpowder, by which the 
walls of tyrannical kings are thrown down ; watches, 
by which we mark the progress of time, and so on, 
Thus we see the world has greatly advanced in its 
practical achievements. Thus we see that to-day we 
enjoy the fruits, the practical fruits, of all ages. Thus 
we see that we live in an age in which the hidden 
secrets of nature have been found out by man 
until his thoughts have been made to echo across 
the continents and through the billows of the deep. 
Great are the present privileges of the poor. In past 
ages only the rich and influential were great ; but to- 
day every man who desires has the privilege of becom- 
ing rich, learned, great, and influential. Looking into 
the face of the poor man, we can tell why the world has 
advanced so slowly. It is because the poor have been 
down-trodden, beaten and abused. It is because the 
kings and their favorites wrapped their purple robes 
around them in pride and selfishness. It is because 
'.hey cared nothing for the poor, save to impose on 
hem their quarrels and their burdens, and reap the 
bruits of their triumphs. But in opposition to their 
desires, their determinations and their strength, 


Christian civilization has produced an age in which 
the poor man is given equal rights with the rich. 
By gunpowder, which blew down the tyrannies 
of tyrants, that age has come ; by the printing 
press, which tells about everybody and everything, 
that age has come ; by the public school, which fur- 
nishes free education for all, that age has come ; by 
the locomotive and steamboat, by which both products 
and people are borne across continents and seas, that' age 
has come ; by the flag of free hearts, hope and home, that 
age has come ; by all the discoveries of philosophy, by 
all the inventions of science, by all the teachings of 
government, by all the prayers of honest men, and by 
the will of God, that age has come — an age in which 
the poor man can enjoy his easy chair and his library ; 
an age in which the poor man can possess the com- 
forts, conveniences and luxuries of home ; an age in 
which he can have the advantage of an education, equal 
rights with the rich, and golden opportunities for be- 
coming wise in science, in literature, in art, in politics, 
and in religion. 

Great are the mental privileges of to-day. In olden 
times only the higher classes were educated. The com- 
mon people were neither taught to write nor to read. 
They knew nothing about literature, statesmanship, art 
or science ; but to-day they are taught all these branches 
in our public schools. To-day the average college 
president knows as much as did Socrates. The editors, 
or teachers, or lawyers, or ministers of a single State, 
possess more wisdom than did all the Roman senators ; 
and why not, when we are living in an age of thought, 
in an age when we possess the learning of Rome, the 
culture of sunny Egypt, the classics of Greece, the 


light of Christianity, and the researches of eighteen 
hundred years, about which they knew nothing. Our 
advantages of to-day are such that we can crowd more 
life into ten years than did Methuselah into nine hundred 
and sixty-nine years, or Plato and Socrates into their 
allotted time. We know that the earth is round ; they 
knew it not. We know that the sun is the center 
of the solar system, and that the planets revolve 
around the sun ; they knew it not. We are versed 
in the structure of the earth, the treasures of the deep, 
and the beauties of the shining heavens ; knowledge 
about which they never dreamed. We have the New 
Testament ; they had it not. 

No tongue can describe and no pen can depict 
the literary advantages of to-day. With the schools to 
educate, the papers to speed the news, the libraries to 
carry forward the treasures of thought and history, 
with lecturers, teachers and preachers, to discuss and 
discourse upon the great questions of the day, we are 
offered mental advantages and privileges such as no 
age in the past ever enjoyed. In the libraries of to- 
day we have recorded the works and knowledge of all 
past ages. All who will can enjoy the thoughts of 
Milton, which go reverberating through eternity ; the 
dramas of Shakespeare, which are so true to life ; the 
zeal of Luther, which fires the heart ; the profound 
thoughts of Bacon and Newton, which elevate the intel- 
lect ; and the sweet rhymes of Tenny c on and Longfel- 
low, which comfort the sorrowing heart.. With so 
many teachers around us, and with so much knowledge 
before us, can we not say that our mental privileges 
and advantages have been unsurpassed in the history of 
the world ? 


Our religious privileges are equally great. We, to-day, 
enjoy far more religious instruction than did the right- 
eous men of old. The religious element in man is the 
strongest element in his nature. It is the key-note to 
his histories. The religion of a nation is the key-note 
to the history of that nation. In the study of the past 
ages we find that the world is full of wrecks of decayed 
religions. The myths of Greece are no more ; the my- 
thologies of Rome are no more ; the teachings of 
Apollo are no more ; the thunders of Jupiter are no 
more ; the worship of Mars is no more ; the respect 
paid to Ceres is no more ; Moses, the lawgiver, is no 
more. A greater than all these has come — Christ has 
come. Christianity, the culmination of all the good 
that preceded it, has come for one and for all. It is 
confined to no family, tribe or nation ; but it has come 
for all families, tribes and nations ; it has come for 
those who live in the isles of the sea, and in the conti- 
nents of both hemispheres. It has come for Jew and 
Gentile, male and female, barbarian and Assyrian ; it 
has come unburdened by dogmas and rituals ; it has 
come with the mark of God upon it ; it has come 
to overthrow false religions, destroy anarchies, and 
break down pagan gods and temples ; it has come to 
civilize the savage, emancipate the slave, and elevate 
the woman ; it has come to lessen wars and establish 
peace ; it has come to comfort the sorrowing and cheer 
the faint ; it has come to triumph over death and give an 
entrance into heaven. In olden times there was one 
prophet for several millions of people ; but to-day there 
are teachers and preachers by the hundreds and by the 
thousands. In olden times the law was read on great 
occasions and at public feasts ; to-day there is a weekly 


preaching of the gospel. In olden times but few pos- 
sessed the Scriptures ; to-day a copy of the Bible is 
found in nearly every home in our land. In olden 
times it required a small fortune to purchase a Bible ; 
to-day copies can be had for five and ten cents each. 
In olden times many were persecuted who were found 
with a Bible in their possession ; to-day all who desire 
may read the Bible without interference. In olden 
times there were no schools in which the children were 
taught the word of God ; to-day there are thousands of 
schools in which the children are taught the way to 
happiness, to holiness and to heaven. In olden times 
there were no societies in which the young people 
could meet and edify one another ; to-day there are 
hundreds of these societies, where thousands of young 
people meet to study God's word and to encourage 
one another on the way from earth to heaven. In 
olden times there were no benevolent and educational 
institutions such as we have to-day ; asylums for the 
blind, asylums for the deaf and dumb, asylums for 
the idiotic, asylums for the insane, alms-houses for the 
poor, and happy homes for the widows and orphans ; 
besides numerous institutions of learning, where relig- 
ion, arts, science, and literature are taught. Thus we 
see some of the great privileges which we enjoy from 
a religious standpoint. 

We have considered some of the great advantages 
and privileges which we enjoy to-day. We have glanced 
at the progress of civilization. We have spoken of some 
of the discoveries in science, advances in art and litera- 
ture, and the advantages of the Christian religion. These 
unsurpassed governmental, material, mental and relig- 
ious advantages have been accumulating during all the 


past centuries. Six thousand years of study, labor, 
and achievement have contributed to the greatness of 
this age. These numerous advantages and divers priv- 
ileges have been purchased by our fathers and fore- 
fathers. They cost them much suffering and sacrificing, 
much praying and toiling, much shedding of righteous 
blood, and much undeserved persecution. For the 
blessings which we have, honest and Christian men and 
women have been beaten and plundered, slaughtered 
and scourged, crushed and imprisoned. Think of the 
suffering, starvation and battles which the liberties and 
blessings of our government cost. Think of Bunker 
Hill, Princeton, Georgetown, Valley Forge, and York 
town. Think of the brain, heart, and bodily sufferings 
which our scientific discoveries have cost. Think of 
Newton, Galileo, Kepler, Stephenson, Watts, Ark- 
wright, Howe, Fulton, and scores of others. For our 
literary advantages, what banishment, what ostricising, 
what cruelties, what imprisonments, what sufferings 
— untold, save to heaven. Think of Brougham, labor- 
ing for popular education ; Hill, for penny postage ; 
Chambers, Knight and Constable, for cheap literature ; 
Milner and Gibson, for the liberation of the press ; 
Cooke, Wheatstone, Morse and Edison, for the tele- 
graph. Think of noble men writing in cells and pris- 
ons — writing in secrecy by taper light ; writing for hu- 
manity, and not daring to sign their names for fear of 
persecution. For our religious privileges, think of the 
pains patiently endured, the sufferings nobly borne in 
prisons, in dungeons, in towers, on seas, on racks, on 
crosses, in boiling waters, and in spiked barrels. Think 
of Paul in prison, James beheaded, Peter scourged, 
and Christ on the cross ! Think of a million men and 


women martyred for the cross ! Think of their tears, 
hopes, scourgings, and cruel deaths ! But the day of 
such trials and such persecutions has gone by. Thank 
God that others paid the price, and we have the grand 
results and glorious fruits. 


Are we awake to our unlimited and unsurpassed 
privileges and advantages ? Are we profiting by our 
advantages and embracing our privileges ? Do we, by 
word or deed, strive to maintain that pure and spotless 
government whfch others fought to win? Do we wisely 
and thankfully use the inventions and practical achieve- 
ments which others suffered to invent and achieve ? Do 
we read and study the books which those of earlier de- 
cades labored to write ? Do we attend the schools 
which others dared to establish? Do we read the 
Bible, or obey the gospel which others, through fiery- 
trials and death, gave us ? 

Should we not highly appreciate and greatly prize 
these blessings which have been handed down to us 
through the past ages ? Should we not wisely use our 
time- and consecrate our talents to the preservation of 
these privileges, and to the transmitting of them, with 
increased advantages, to those who shall follow us, as 
their fairest inheritance and happiest portion ? Should 
we not wisely use our time and consecrate our talents 
to the perfecting and increase of our inventions, that 
those who follow us may have still greater advantages ? 
Should we not wisely use our time and consecrate 
our talents to the wiping out of every stain from our 
government, so that those who follow us may en- 
joy advanced and higher positions in government? 


Should we not wisely use our time and consecrate our 
talents to bettering, elevating and educating the poor, 
so that in ages to come their children may enjoy still 
greater privileges and blessings ? Should we not 
wisely use our time and consecrate our talents to the 
maintaining, founding and building of schools, col- 
leges, churches, and benevolent institutions, that those 
who follow us may reap from them still greater bene- 
fits than we enjoyed ? Should we not wisely use our 
time and consecrate our talents to the defense and 
advance of Christianity, so that those who follow 
us may have less sorrow and more joy than we have at 

Woe came upon Judea, Rome, Greece, and Egypt, 
because they appreciated not their advantages. Woe 
will come upon us, upon our nation, our government, 
our schools, our arts, our sciences, and our churches, 
if we do not embrace the privileges which are be- 
fore us. 

Shall we not profit by the advantages that we enjoy, 
and exert our might to elevating the standard ? 
Shall we not go on unto a greater perfection in 
science, art, and literature ? Shall we not aid in 
wiping out false religions and anarchism; in hastening 
the millennium ; in establishing a broader civilization, 
and giving "Glory to God in the highest, and peace 
on earth and good will to men " ? 

I know not what discoveries may be made in the 
future ; what inventions may spring from the brains of 
men ; what great changes may be wrought in govern- 
ment ; what great reforms may be wrought in society ; 
but I do know that, as we travel down the future, 
it is our duty, the duty of all men and women, to put 


forth their best efforts, to elevate the standard of vir- 
tue in public life as well as in private life ; to do their 
best in maintaining truth against falsehood, right 
against wrong, honest voting and fair elections against 
political corruption, and in serving God instead of 
mammon. Our own interests demand that we do our 
best, humanity demands that we do our best, angels, 
and God demand that we do our best. 


During every age there is some one idea that pre- 
dominates — a certain tending of the elements in one di- 
rection. Something is king. Something leads in the 
control of men's thoughts, words and deeds. During 
the age of Caesar, physical power was king ; during 
the age of Demosthenes, oratory was king ; during the 
age of Luther, religious reformation was the leading 
idea ; during the age of Washington, the great ques- 
tion was, shall we continue in subjection to England, 
or shall we fight for our liberty ? Lincoln lived in an 
age when the great question was, can man lawfully 
enslave his fellow- man ? 

But this is an age of business — an age when business 
is king. An age in which business, in a great degree, 
controls the interests and destiny of the country. 
What mean these wagons, laden with freight, which 
pass to and fro on the streets ? What mean these 
great frame, brick, and stone buildings ? What mean 
these banks, custom-houses, and stock exchanges ? 
What mean these forges and factories, in which thou- 
sands of spindles are turned, and countless millions of 
articles made? What mean these ships which sail on 
the waters, and what mean these long railroad trains and 
crowded freight depots ? All these things speak to us of 
business. Everything seems to take on the form of trade. 



The teacher trades his knowledge, the physician his 
skill, the attorney his counsel, the artist his paintings, 
the farmer his products, the merchant his wares, the 
mechanic his labor, the druggist his physic, the banker 
his exchange, and so on. This age is one in which 
men are devoting thought, time, and energy to prac- 
tical achievements, to labor-saving machinery, to 
comfortable homes, and to the accumulation of wealth. 
This is pre-eminently a business age. 

Everything in the universe is in constant activity. The 
insects ply on and in the earth, the plants and trees 
grow and decay, the animals roam in the fields, the sea 
is alive with living creatures, and. its waves, tides and 
currents are in constant motion ; the earth rotates on its 
axis, and revolves around the sun ; the sun has its 
orbit, and all the satellites and planets of the heavens 
speed on their way through the unbounded region of 
space. Man's body and mind are also framed for cease- 
less activity. ' Unless his mind is active it lapses into a 
state of weakness and ignorance. Unless his body is 
active it becomes weak and unhealthy. Man's 
bread, health, home, happiness and prosperity depend 
on his constant exertion. Idleness is worse than no 
work, because it permits the mind to recoil upon itself, 
and drives it into despondency and temptation. Every 
man should have two great purposes in view : one, 
the building of an honorable character, and the other, 
the successful prosecution of some business. These two 
purposes should be constantly in view, and should 
command all his energies, that he may win success. 
The present article is devoted to the latter of these two 
great purposes. 



In what business shall I engage, or what profession 
shall I follow ? An important question, and one that 
is hard to decide. There can be neither contentment, 
happiness, nor success in life till this question is de- 
cided. There are many business failures and profes- 
sional wrecks, because men are not in the right place. 
Wheat will not grow in the pond ; pond lilies will not 
grow in the dry land ; birds can not live in water, nor 
fish in the open air; neither can a man prosper if he is 
out of his element. Said the young man, "I can not 
sell goods, but I can work as an accountant." The 
employer responded, " I know you can not sell goods ; 
I will try you as an accountant." He placed him in 
the shipping department, and he soon became an ex- 
pert in that business. There are some men who are 
miserable failures as lawyers, who would have made 
successful merchants or farmers. There are hundreds 
of ministers who butcher the king's English, who 
would have made first-rate farmers, mechanics, or mer- 
chants. There are many awkward and bunglesome 
physicians, who would have made excellent blacksmiths 
or carpenters. The legal, medical, and ministerial pro- 
fessions are held the highest ; and into these hundreds 
enter, who have no talent for them. Hence there are 
many middling men in the professions, who would 
have made capital business men. Better be a Wash- 
ington in the garden, than a straggler in the camp of at- 
torneys ; better be a Napoleon as a farmer, than a 
drone in the hive of physicians ; better be a Caesar in 
the blacksmith shop, than a failure in the pulpit. 


Parents can greatly aid their children in the choice of 
their avocations. This is their privilege, their duty, 
and their pleasure. They should use wisdom, pru- 
dence, care, study, and time, in rightly directing the 
talents of their offspring. Not unfrequently parents 
make serious mistakes in putting their children in 
the wrong sphere. Sometimes, for the convenience 
and pecuniary benefit of the parents, they urge their 
boys to follow the same pursuit as that in which the 
father is engaged. This is sometimes a pittance in the 
parents' pockets, but a burden and grievance to the chil- 
dren during all of their lives. Because a father is in a cer- 
tain business, it is not always the case that the son has 
special talents for that business. Sometimes parents 
who are blessed with several boys select a profession, 
and then select a boy for the profession. This is often 
done when there is no fitness on the part of the boy. 
He enters it to satisfy the desires of his parents, and 
becomes a failure, or makes but a middling success ; 
whereas, he might have made a grand success in some 
other business. A now prominent railroad man was, 
in early life, urged by his parents to enter college and 
study for the priesthood. Against his inclinations, he 
consented. After he left college he served the church 
two years, then forsook it and entered a railroad office, 
and went up and up, until he stands on the topmost 
round. Daniel Webster's father wanted him to be- 
come a farmer, notwithstanding Daniel had developed 
talents in another direction. It is said that the father 
took the lad to the field, gave him a scythe, and told 
him to follow him with a swath. Daniel followed him 
with a few strokes, stopped, and began tinkering with 
the scythe. His father asked him what was wrong. 


Says Daniel, " It hangs too far out." The father very 
kindly set the scythe farther in. Daniel made a few- 
strokes, stopped again, and began tinkering with the 
scythe. When his father returned he began question- 
ing his son as to what was wrong. Says Daniel, "It 
hangs too far in." His father very kindly set the 
scythe at what he thought was the right place, then 
tested its merits, and found that he could mow with it. 
Returning it to his son, he said, " Come along now, 
Daniel, with the next swath, and I will take yours." 
Daniel made a few strokes, stopped, and began tinker- 
ing with the scythe. When his father returned, he 
again questioned Daniel as to what was wrong. 
Daniel replied, "It does not yet hang to suit 
me." His father, somewhat indignant and out of pa- 
tience, retorted : " You hang that scythe to suit your- 
self, and clear out of this field." Young Daniel very 
deliberately hung the scythe on a cherry tree that stood 
near by, and told his father that it hung to suit him. 
As a farmer he was a failure, but as an orator and 
statesman his words echoed and re-echoed through 
the halls of congress, found their way into journals, 
reading-books, and histories, and his name has become 
familiar in all the homes of our country. 

John Howard's father desired his son to become a 
grocer. He bound him over to a grocery-man to serve 
as an apprentice for five years. It was a hard task for 
young John. His father died before the five years had 
expired. Howard forsook the grocery business, and 
put his head, heart, hands, money, and life into bring- 
ing about the great prison reform. 

It is said of Isaac Watts' father that he very much 
disliked the talent for making rhymes displayed on the 


part of his son. It continued to develop in young 
Isaac until his father, tired of remonstrating with him, 
threatened to flog him, if he made another rhyme. It 
was not long until the rhyme was made, and the father, 
true to his word, applied the whip. Young Isaac 
cried out : 

" O my father, do some pity take, 

And another rhyme I shall never make." 

This provoked his father still more. He applied 
the whip with more severity, and young Watts again 
cried out : 

" O my father, do spare my back from pain, 
And I shall never make a rhyme again." 

As his father did not succeed in beating the poetry 
out of his son, he sent him to school with a request to 
the teacher that he would flog him, not only for his 
misdemeanors, but for any rhymes that he would 
make. Soon after young Watts had entered the school, 
he noticed a rat coming down the bell-rope near the 
head of the teacher, who was praying. He laughed 
outright. The teacher cut short his prayer, called 
Watts to the front, and demanded why he laughed. 
Watts answered : 

" Well, teacher, as there were no stairs, ' 
The rat came down the rope to say his prayers." 

The teacher did not punish him, but gave him en- 
couragement. Watts became a favorite poet. His 
hymns have found their way into all of our leading 
hymn-books, and are sung the world around. 

From these incidents it can be seen that parents 
sometimes make mistakes in selecting vocations for 


their children. On the other hand, some parents have 

made wise selections. 

When West, the famous painter, was a little boy 
of seven summers, he drew in red and black ink the 
picture of a dear little baby that was asleep in the cra- 
dle. His mother noticed the picture, stooped over 
and planted upon his brow that precious token of love 
— a mother's kiss. She gave him encouragement — he 
became an artist. In after years, West said that a kiss 
from his mother made him an artist. There are numer- 
ous instances where parents have rightly discovered 
the talents of their children, and by nurturing and 
fostering have aided in developing them until their 
children became eminent in their callings. 

Everybody is born with talents for some pursuit. Sid- 
ney Smith said: "Nature intended everybody for 
something. Be what nature intended you ior, and 
you will succeed. Be anything else, and you will be a 
thousand times worse than nothing." 

Emerson said : "The crowning fortune of a man is 
to be born with a bias for some pursuit which finds him 
employment and happiness." 

Swift said : " No man ever made an ill figure who 
understood his own talents, or a good one who mis- 
took them." 

Nature intended some for hod-carriers, some for 
brick-layers, some for masons, some for carpenters, and 
some for contractors. Nature intended some to work in 
sub-cellars, some as book-keepers, some as clerks, some as 
accountants, some as managers, and some as proprietors. 
Nature intended some to grade the railroad, some to lay 
the ties and rails, some to work as brakemen, some as 
firemen, some as engineers, some as conductors, same as 


train dispatchers, some as passenger agents, some as au- 
ditors, and some as managers and presidents. Nature 
intended some for farmers, some for mechanics, and some 
for artists. Nature intended some for teachers, some for 
lawyers, some for doctors, and some for preachers. Na- 
ture cuts every man out for something. In choosing, 
choose that for which nature intended you. Study the 
talents and qualifications needed in the various pursuits ; 
then study your own bent of mind, inclinations, and 
talents. These should be the criteria, and all other 
considerations should be subordinate. No matter how 
inviting the business or profession, enter it not unless 
you have talents in that line. Talents can not be pur- 
chased. Have you not heard of the father who left 
his daughter in college with a desire that she should 
become an accomplished pianist? Returning in the 
course of five or six months, he asked the president 
about his daughter's progress in music. Says the pres- 
ident, " I fear that she will not make a musician, be- 
cause she lacks the talent." Says the father, " How 
much does the talent cost ? I am willing to buy it at 
any reasonable figure, because I want her to become a 
musician. " Talents can not be purchased. Some minds 
are so constituted as to succeed in various pursuits, 
but these minds are few, and special talents for one pur- 
suit always predominate. 

How can I detect my talents? If you are of an intel- 
lectual turn, if you love papers, books, schools, 
churches, any and everything that educates ; if you love 
to study, and are discontented at everything else, then 
you had best look to some profession that will afford 
you abundant opportunity for the development of your 
literary taste. If you have a love for argument, for 


debate, for the excitement of courts, for political con- 
tests, for legal investigations and proceedings, and for 
political conquests and achievements, then look to the 
law. If you find delight in the study of the body, in 
the dioganosis of diseases, in chemistry, in physics, and 
surgical instruments, and if you have nerve, patience, 
tenderness, and thoughtfulness, look to the medical 
profession. If you love to talk with children, and find 
delight in text-books, in school work, in teaching and 
being taught, then look to the profession of teaching. 
If you are burdened with the sins of the world, if you 
love God, if eternity weighs upon you, if you have 
strength in character, body, mind, and spirit ; if you 
have ready utterance, and are able to endure suffering 
and sacrifices, then look to the ministry. If you have 
a delicate touch, if you love colors and pictures, if there 
is a high degree of harmony in your mental make-up, 
then look to art. If you love the ripening grain, the fruit 
trees, and delight in being among and working with 
sheep, cattle and horses, then go to the farm. If you 
love the sound of the hammer, the buzz of the saw, the 
bore of the auger, and if you love to construct useful 
articles out of wood, iron or brass, then look out some 
mechanical pursuit. If you have an analytic and inves- 
tigating mind, if you are an earnest lover of nature, if 
you find delight in the study of science, then here is 
your field. Whatever haunts you like a ghost, what- 
ever you find talents for, that do. Never engage in a 
business or profession unless you have talents for it, or 
you will regret it. You owe it to yourseives, to your 
fellow-men, and to God, to do that for which you have 
talents, to follow that pursuit which you love, and 
which will contribute to your happiness and prosperity. 


Much of what I have said is applicable to young ladies. 
I must here throw in a word, bearing directly upon 
their vocations. In early life every young woman 
should quali r y herself for some business or profession. 
She should be able to master somer.hing out of which 
she could make an honest living, were she thrown on 
her own resources. She may never be called upon to 
support herself, but it often happens in after life that 
women have to support themselves, and perhaps one 
or more relatives. Then comes the great need of 
knowing how to do something well. Again, young 
women like to have money of their own, If they are 
able to make it, they feel independent and happy in 
the possession and use of it. Their lives are just as 
real, their conflicts just as many, their responsibilities 
just as great, and their burdens just as heavy as those 
of young men. Then why should they not be able to 
do something well ? The public gives to them the 
privilege of engaging in many businesses and profes- 
sions. Hundreds of young women are needed as 
housekeepers, nurses, artists, milliners, mantaumakers, 
telegraph operators, clerks, book-keepers, teachers, 
etc. Every young lady should single out some pur- 
suit, and qualify herself so that she could, if necessary, 
make an honest living in it. 

After the vocation is chosen, the next question that 
arises is, 


/. Qualify yourselves for it. The education, if pos- 
sible, should be, in many respects, subservient to the 
vocation. If the legal profession is chosen, a good law 


school should be attended. If the medical profession 
is chosen, attend a medical college where there is a 
good hospital, in which you can see the theory put in 
practice. There are also special schools and colleges 
to fit one for the ministry, for scientific pursuits, for 
mercantile business, and for farming. The preparation 
should be thorough and extensive. If a man intends 
to become a mechanic, an apprenticeship under a good 
workman will always be of service. There are plenty 
of tolerably good workmen, but few experts. In 
nearly every business and profession there are many 
middling men, but few first-class. Every extensive 
employer is overwhelmed with applications from mid- 
dling workmen, but he has to seek and pay well for ex- 
perts. There is a great demand and plenty of room 
for well qualified business and professional men. 

II. Starting right is essential to success. A good be- 
ginning is half the battle. " Well begun is half ended." 
Start at the right place. Start at the bottom, and not 
at the top. They that start at the top meet with sad 
and bitter experiences. They that make a tremendous 
bound to the top generally make a tremendous fall to 
the bottom. " They that make haste to get rich gen- 
erally fall into divers temptations." Recently there 
was a failure as a newspaper editor in one of the largest 
cities in the land. Without serving as a compositor 
or reporter, the man at one bound took the editorial 
chair. He maintained the position for two years, and 
was then crowded out, heart-broken, disappointed, rep- 
utation injured, and fortune gone. Our most success. 
ful men begin at the bottom of the ladder. Our mer- 
chant princes and railroad magnates began there. One 
of the wealthiest men in California began work in a 


basement for his board. At the end of the first month 
he had saved ten times his salary. He was promoted. 
Up and up he went, until he became one of the pro- 
prietors. Franklin first served as a journeyman printer. 
We need not multiply these examples ; they are nu- 
merous. The gourd of Jonah grew to an enormous 
size in one night. A worm ate it down the next 

III. Diligence is essential to success. It is one of the 
stepping-stones by which men rise. There should be 
diligence in concentrating the energies in one direction. 
The power of setting fire to shavings by heat from the 
sun through a glass lies in focusing all the heat on one 
point. Napoleon won his great battles by concentrat- 
ing his forces on a single point of the enemy. Fields 
set out to connect Europe to America with a cable. 
With this single purpose in view, he crossed the ocean 
fifty times. Constant dropping wears the stone. Con- 
tinued rubbing brightens the diamond. Concentrated 
study and practice made Demosthenes a great orator. 
Paul says : "This one thing I do." He did it well. 
The proverb is, " Whatsoever thy hands find to do, do 
it with all thy might." Singleness of aim, and concen- 
tration of energy are needed in business. " If thine 
eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." 
Diligence in attending to details is also essential. 
John Wanamaker, the merchant prince, is familiar with 
the details of his great business. In the absence of 
any one of his clerks he can step behind the coun- 
ter and take his place. Napoleon could pass through 
the drill of a private soldier. ' ' Now take care of the 
pennies, and the dollars will take care of themselves." 
There are numerous details in connection with every 


business which demand attention. "You can fill a 
large box with cannon balls ; then pack a quantity of 
marbles around the cannon balls ; then fill in the 
spaces between the marbles with shot ; then fill the 
spaces betwen the shot with sand ; then pour in a 
quantity of water, and the box will still hold some 
sugar." Thus it is in business. The big thing's need 
attention, and so do the little things. There are nu- 
merous failures, simply because the details are neg- 
lected. Diligence, persevering diligence, scaled the 
Alps, encircled the Chinese Empire, built the seven- 
hilled city, painted the landscape on the canvas, 
wrought out the marble monument; it turns the spin- 
dles, whitens the waters with sails, produces the food, 
clothes, and shelter for the World ; writes our books, 
prepares our sermons, edits our papers, and adds wis- 
dom, virtue, power and glory to the name. Without 
it there can be no success and no prosperity. Dili- 
gence should be continued through all the discourage- 
ments in business. Sometimes the journey is rough, the 
labor is hard, the competition is severe, aud the ob- 
stacles are numerous. Sometimes realization disap- 
points, people deceive, and success is hard to attain ; 
but with diligence, persevering diligence, these diffi- 
culties can be overcome, and these obstacles sur- 
mounted. The bird of paradise flies against the wind, 
and the oyster mends herself with pearl. Diligence 
says: "Turn not aside ; keep right on ; fix your eye 
on the object; climb the hill." The magnificent 
scenery can only be surveyed from the top. Climb the 
tree— the choicest fruit is in the top. "The lifting of 
the calf every day will, in two years, enable you to lift 
the ox." Phidias made two thousand strokes before 


the monuments took shape. Diligence will give satis- 
faction and rest, and will aid in winning success. 

IV Frugality' is another essential to success in busi- 
ness. Frugality is the honest earning and the right 
use of money. It is a big word, and means a great 
deal. Spendthrifts are not frugal men. They care not 
for their earnings — they know not the value of a dollar. 
They are but little service to society. Frugality is the 
right thing. It is economy in the proper use. It does 
not make one niggardly or miserly ; it sets the right 
value on money ; it obtains, saves, and uses money as 
a means of securing and carrying out the noble 
purposes of life. Frugality is food, clothing, self- 
respect, and independence to its possessor. It tides 
him over sickness, barricades him against want, 
enables him to wait, secures for him a footing, and 
contributes to his comfort. Cicero says: "Economy 
is, of itself, a great revenue." Franklin says : " We 
are taxed twice as heavy by our pride as by the State." 
frugal and economical men possess the capital, engage 
men, and set labor in motion. They build the houses 
and the mills; they run the machines and manufac- 
tories ; they pay for the ships and their cargoes ; they 
build railroads, harbors, and docks ; they develop the 
lead, coal, copper, silver and gold mines. All of this 
is the result of frugality. Small savings every week 
will soon secure a man his home and his independence, 
and make him a capitalist. A little self-denial at the 
beginning will purchase the luxuries in after life. A 
business man of Chicago once said: "I know of five 
men who entered a dry goods store as clerks. Four of 
them spent all of their salaries in dress, in style, and 
upon their lusts and luxuries. The remaining one was 


frugal. Aside from the necessaries, he expended no 
money, save what he put in the church basket, in pa- 
pers and in books. The first four spent nearly every 
evening away from their homes. The one spent the 
most of his evenings at home. The four seldom went to 
church. The one was a faithful attendant at church. 
The four were not choice in their associates. The one 
kept good company or none. The four were spend- 
thrifts. The one was frugal. At the end of the sec- 
ond year, the frugal man became the manager of the 
store. At the end of the fourth year, he bought the 
goods for the store. At the end of the sixth year, he 
had a share in the profits. At the end of the tenth 
year, he had an interest in the business. At the end 
of the twentieth year, the former proprietor retired, and 
the frugal man became possessor of the business. He 
rode down street one day with his wife and three children 
in a carriage. The four spendthrifts stood in front of a sa- 
loon and watched him go by in his elegant chariot, with 
a smile upon his face. They went into the saloon, 
drank a round of beer, and drew up resolutions protest- 
ing against capital, and envying, and hating the man 
who began life with no better chances than them- 

I need to speak no farther as to the need of put- 
ting in frugality as one of the essential planks in at- 
taining success. 

V. Health is another essential to success. The poet 
says : 

" Ah, what avail the largest gifts of heaven, 

When drooping health and spirits go amiss? 
How tasteless then whatever can be given — 
Health is the vital principle of bliss." 


Health contributes very much to the success and 

happiness of man. Our nation is suffering very greatly 
in citizenship, because of the ill health of her people. 
There is entirely too little care given to the preserva- 
tion and maintaining of good health. Select fifty of 
the greatest men of the world, in any business, study 
their lives, and you will find that the average age ex- 
ceeds sixty. You will also find that the majority of 
them were robust in health. Our citizens have gone 
to the extreme in business, in art, in literature, and in 
science, to the neglect of the body ; as a result, they 
have to resort to physicians, drugs, opiates, and liquors ; 
they have to suffer a great deal of nervousness; they 
have to suffer with the gout, dyspepsia, headaches, and 
many of them die at the age at which they should be 
the healthiest. Nature will not be mocked any more 
than God. Disobey the laws of health and there is a 
penalty to pay. What gave old Sparta a name which 
has lasted with time? Was it not the health, the vigor, 
the robustness, and the strength of her citizens? She 
was weak in numbers, yet mighty in physical discipline. 
Her children were educated and trained under the super- 
vision of officers appointed by the State. They were re- 
quired to take gymnastic exercise; to hunt, to ride, to 
run, wear the same garments winter and summer ; to eat 
plain food, to drink pure water; to suffer hunger, 
thirst, heat, cold, and the lash. They were not per- 
mitted to marry until the age of thirty, and were then 
punished if they remained unmarried It was said that 
gold and silver were banished from Sparta, and an un- 
wieldly iron currency was substituted in their stead, in 
order to prevent the people from too great a love for 
gain. All of the girls and women of Sparta were well 


disciplined and trained in numerous exercises, in order 
that the constitutions of their children might be strong. 
Every child born in Sparta was examined in public, and 
if it was found to be weak or deformed, it was left alone 
on an adjoining mountain to perish. Thus the citizens 
of Sparta possessed such strength in body, such sound- 
ness in health, and such vigor in constitution, that 
they were irresistible in war, rapid in conquering their 
enemies, and able to subdue thrice their number in 
fair and open battle. 

While it is not advisable that we go to such an ex- 
treme as did the old Spartans,yet it is needful that 
we pay more attention to the health. In a mixed as- 
sembly of five hundred people, it is surprising how 
many suffer with headaches, indigestion, sleeplessness, 
liver troubles, and general debility. If all the people 
of our land would arise and give due and proper atten- 
tion to health, the average length of life would be pro- 
longed ten years. The amount of work would be 
doubled, and the amount of joy would be quadrupled. 
Would to the Lord that we could all say with the Apostle 
Paul: "I keep my body under, and bring it into sub- 
jection." The body should be kept under and in good 
health, by proper exercise in the open air. Peopie who 
sit in offices and stand behind counters, and study in 
their rooms all day without taking any exercise, will, 
in course of time, wreck their constitutions. The body 
should be kept under and the health maintained, by 
proper diet. People eat too much and eat too rapidly. 
The food of Benjamin Franklin was plain and simple. 
A French general said that the reason the Dutch 
of Holland were so hard to conquer was because of 
their simplicity of food. There is neither pleasure, 


profit nor reason in rapid and over-eating. The body 
should be kept under and in good health, by proper 
drink. *God made water to drink without adding any- 
thing to it. Pure water never made any one a sinner. 
Pure water is more conducive to good health than all 
the teas, coffees and wines in the world. In the build- 
ing of character, every one should be careful what 
they drink, especially if they want to keep their head clear 
and free from wreck and ruin. The body should be kept 
under and in good health, by proper sleep. Sleep, sound 
sleep, is one of the soothing balms of life. Without it, 
there can be no health. Without it, the world is dull 
and dreary. Regular hours should be observed in 
sleeping as well as in business. The body should be 
kept under and in good health, by proper clothing, by 
proper bathing, and by proper ventilation. Time and 
space forbid enlarging upon these three heads. Yet 
we venture to say that many more persons could enjoy 
bouncing health if they would make a reformation in 
clothing, bathing, cleanliness, ventilation, and the re- 
movement of filth and stagnant water from around their 
homes. Then, in prosecuting the vocation, let proper 
attention be paid to the health, and if you would have 
contentment, peace, joy, and success, give due care to 
the physical person. 

" Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, 
Lie in three words — health, peace, and competence; 
But health consists of temperance alone, 
And peace, O virtue, peace is all thy own." 

VI. If you would be truly successful, take the Lord 
into the business or profession as a partner. When Ahab 
and Saul left the Lord out of their transactions, they 


came to ruin. Some may achieve a momentary suc- 
cess without recognizing God, but they are no more 
than vital machines used in the accumulation of wealth. 
Real success in business can only be acquired when 
God favors. He delights in a just balance and an 
honest weight. His word says: " Study to be quiet 
and to do your own business, and to work with your own 
hands ; that you walk honestly toward them that are 
without; that ye may have lack of nothing." "Pro- 
vide things honest in the sight of all men." "Not 
slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord." " Seest thou a man diligent in his business, 
he shall stand before kings." 

Engage in no business unless you can ask God to 
bless you. Drive no bargain and make no dealings in 
business unless you can ask God's blessing upon them. 
Let your understanding, your will, and your affections 
be inspired with the holy life of Christ. Imbibe his 
maxims and take his precepts into your business 
affairs. The more business in your hands, the more 
need you have of God. The more snares and sins in 
your way, the more need of Jesus as a Saviour. Never 
be so intent on business or study but that you can ask 
God to bless you, and to give him a word of praise for 
all your success. Aim in your business affairs to serve 
humanity, and to give them an equivalent for what you 
receive, and thus you will serve God. Always give a 
portion of your earnings to help the Lord's cause. 
Make his business your business, and he will bear your 
griefs, and carry your sorrows, and humanity will trust 
you, and you will be happy in your own integrity, vir- 
tue and success. 


Let everybody take heed not to mistake or substi- 
tute something else for character. Reputation is not 
character. Reputation is what a man appears to be, 
but character is what he is. Reputation relates to the 
world, but character relates to the man. Reputation 
is the estimate placed upon him by the public, but 
character is the estimate placed upon man by God. 
Reputation is public property, character is private 
property. Men may be great in reputation, but mean 
in character. Some of the most successful generals in 
history awed and impressed the world by their great 
reputations, while in character they were mean, foul, 
and cruel. Alexander had a wide reputation, but a 
mean character. Napoleon had a great reputation, but 
in character he was vain, ambitious, and cruel. 

Let everybody take heed not to mistake or substi- 
tute learning for character. Men may be great in 
knowledge, and at the same time corrupt in heart. 
George Herbert said : "A handful of good life is worth 
a bushel of learning. Knowledge should not be de- 
spised, but should always be connected with good 
moral character, in order that thy life may be spent in 
virtue, truthfulness, and goodness." Burns, in speak- 
ing of the solid advice which his father gave him, said : 

He bade me act the manly part, though I had ne'er a farthing, 
For without an honest, manly heart no man was worth regarding. 


One of the noblest characters that I ever met was 
that of a laboring man in old Virginia. He was lim- 
ited in learning, and had but a small income from his 
daily labors, yet for truthfulness, honesty, and genu- 
ine goodness he was truly a man such as the angels 
and God admire. In early life he settled in a disreput- 
able community ; and by his practical wisdom, genu- 
ine goodness, and love for the right, he brought about 
a reform in the hearts of scores of people for miles 
around him. He changed the moral tone of a whole 

Thus we see that a man can possess a good charac- 
ter and do great good with but little learning. Byron 
was great in intellect, so also were Poe and Burns; but 
through their corrupt morals and polluted characters, 
they have left a stain which will forever tarnish their 
great names, and lessen the influence of their pro- 

Let everybody take heed that they do not substi- 
tute wealth for character. Wealth may make a man 
great in some respects, but it is not necessary in order 
to make a good character. It was said of Martin 
Luther, that he set forth in his will that he bequeathed 
"no ready money, no treasure of coin of any descrip- 
tion." During a part of Luther's life he had to earn 
his bread by gardening and clock-making. When at 
school, he went through the streets and sang before the 
wealthy homes, that he might obtain funds to assist in 
paying his necessary expenses. Notwithstanding all 
of his poverty, he left a character and imprint on Ger- 
many far greater, far grander, and far more lasting 
than all of her princes and emperors. It is better 
to live in poverty and be good in character than 


to be great in wealth and corrupt in character. It is 
the character that gives a man the esteem, respect, 
and confidence of men. In all the affairs of life, in 
the home and in the business, in the church and in 
the State, it is not the intellect, the wealth, and the 
reputation, which win the respect of men, which con- 
trol the affairs of State and church, and which satisfy 
the conscience ; but it is the character, the virtue, the 
honesty, the truthfulness, the love, and the will-power 
which make up the character. The respect which 
wealth, reputation, and influence command, when they 
are not joined to a good character, is mean and con- 
temptible ; it is such respect as courtiers give to kings, 
and slaves to masters. Then let everybody take heed 
not to mistake or substitute reputation, learning or 
wealth for character. 

Let everybody take heed to do his own building. 
Garfield said : " Every man is the architect of his own__--/ 
character." How true it is that every man hews out~~-— . 
the timber for his character, joins it together, mixes ■ — 
the mortar, lays the foundation, erects the wall, covers, ,, 
completes, and furnishes it. Thus it is in the same 
community that one man builds a strong character, 
while another builds a weak one ; thus it is that one 
man builds with blocks of granite while another builds 
with the whirlwind ; thus it is that out of the same 
family and under the same circumstances one man 
grows up in goodness and love, while another grows 
up in rascality and villainy. 

Surrounding circumstances have much to do in ^ 
building the character. Parents, relatives, and friends — . 
have something to do with the formation of the char- 
acter of the children who grow up in their midst. 


They create the moral atmosphere which the children 

breathe. They contribute their part in blackening or 
whitening their characters ; in staining them with error, 
or bleaching them with truth ; in scribbling them 
with sport, or engraving them with noble endeavor, 
thought, and purpose. 

Trades and professions have something to do in the 
formation of character ; yet they do not make the 
man. They are subordinate matters in character 
building. Every noble trade has turned out noble 
characters. Washington came from the farm ; Burritt - 
from the forge ; Franklin from the candle shop ; Clay 
from the mill; Arkwright from the barber shop; Gar- 
field from the tow-path ; Peter from among the fisher- 
men ; Paul from tent-making. Thus you see that the 
trade has little to do with the making of the man. 
Justice, honesty, and religion can be carried into all 
honorable callings. A man in building a character is 
not bound to a trade, throne, or crown. He is above 
them all ; by his character he adds honor to whatever 
he does. 

There are numerous subtle influences which aid in 
molding the character. All good and great charac- 
ters are formed by the thousands of little circum- 
stances which are thrown around the every-day life 
from year to year. Actions, looks, words, steps, form 
the alphabet by which you spell character. In exam- 
ining the large caves we find beautiful halls, cor- 
ridors, avenues, rooms ; all of these are formed 
by the constant dropping of water. Thus it is in 
the formation of character. It is molded by subtle 
influences; by relatives and friends; by associates and 
neighbors ; by precept and example ; by literature and 


life ; by State and church. In the midst of all of these, 
men and women act and rise, mold and form their 

The character is made ; it is never bestowed upon 
any one. It is earned, and never given. It is largely 
the result of the personal work which is given to the 
mind and heart. God gave the mind and heart ; men 
work upon and develop them. The mind is the paper, 
the character is what is written upon it. The mind is 
the canvas, the character is the picture upon it. The 
mind is the vineyard, the character is the fruit. The 
mind is the farm, the character is the products. 

The character is within. It is the noble virtues in 
the soul, and not what man has in the way of wealth 
and fame. " The kingdom of heaven is within you. 
God looks not upon the outer, but on the inner man. 

God pity the man who stands upon his personal ap 

pearance, or riches, or reputation, and not upon his — - 
genuine worth of character. Take these away, and he 
becomes too low for association. Then, in starting in 
life, let no one substitute outward show, such as 
money, power, fame, appearance, or possession, for 
character ; because these may be possessed, and their 
possessors be atheists, infidels, extortioners, and adul- 
terers. Let no one rely upon others for the building 
of this character ; it is an individual work. - - 

Let every one take heed to the foundation. A 
strong and abiding foundation is essential to this build- 
ing. The highest monument in the world is that 
erected to the memory of the immortal Washington. 
It stands five hundred and fifty feet high, piercing the 
very clouds which sail over it ; but beneath it is a solid 
foundation of masonry thirty-six feet deep. Recently, 


in one of our northern citie-s, the contract was let for 
a twelve-story building. When the eleventh story was 
completed the foundation proved too weak to support 
it, the building gave way, the walls and partitions all 
mingling, fell to the ground. So it is with the charac- 
ter ; if the foundation is not strong, all is vain. If the 
Lord build not the city, it is built in vain. If the city 
is not built upon the rock, it is built in vain. Our 
natures and our circumstances demand that we have 
a strong foundation. Christ is that foundation. Power 
belongs unto him. The worlds were created by him. 
He upholds all things by the word of his power. We 
need an abiding foundation. Christ is that. He was 
the foundation of the prophets and the apostles. That 
foundation has been standing during centuries which 
have witnessed the downfall of pagan religions, dynas- 
ties, anarchies and antichrists. We need a tried, 
foundation. Christ is that. He was tried by suffering, 
by poverty, by temptation, by persecution, by death, 
by kings and scribes, by chief priests, and by Satan. He 
came out without fault, uninjured and untarnished. 
His power was tried ; his wisdom was tried ; his 
knowledge was tried ; his goodness was tried ; his love 
was tried, and all of these virtues belonged to him. 
He has been tried by men, by God, and by time. He 
has proved himself to be a strong, a tried and sure, a 
precious and chosen foundation. In the building of 
character, this is the foundation upon which every man 
and woman should begin. If this foundation is 
chosen, there is no danger when the floods come 
and the rains descend and the winds blow. If this 
foundation is chosen, there will be no loss in death 
and eternity, but a gain and happiness, which shall 


ever increase and be commensurate with eter- 
nity. V 

As regards the material to be used in building the 
character : industry is one of the essential materials 
in every good character. Never be idle ; the idle man 
has the doors open for thieves. He is subject to a 
thousand temptations which never beset others. He 
is a bore to himself; he is a pest to society. He is 
a burden to others, because he lives upon their in- 
dustry. In the race of life, industry always wins. It 
outstrips genius. It keeps the wolf away from the 
door; it keeps money in the pocket ; it keeps flour 
in the barrel ; it keeps the debts paid; it keeps an 
honest look and a smile on the face. Industry is hon- 
orable, upright, and indispensable. Industry has 
transformed the block of marble into the exquisite stat- 
uary. It has painted upon blank canvas the beauty of a 
Madonna. It felled the forest trees of our land ; it built 
our asylums and churches; it has dredged our rivers 
and built our railroads ; it has decked our land with 
flowers, gardens, and homes. It has converted our 
clay, stone, and timber into warehouses, palaces, and 
cathedrals ; it has brought up the gems from the deep, 
and the treasures from the heart of the earth ; it did 
more to make Webster than Dartmouth College, and 
more to make Garfield than Hiram. "Some men are 
born great, some achieve greatness, and some have great- 
ness thrust upon them." But the greatest greatness is 
that achieved by industry. In building the character, 
remember that the plank of industry is indispen- 

Cheerfulness is another essential material in every 
good character. Cheerfulness is that trait of character 


which is opposed to sullenness, on one hand, and levity 
on the other. It is a fixed habit of happiness. There 
are many people who are not happy ; many who shade 
the present with every shadow of the past ; many who 
revel in sad memories and relish their miseries ; many 
who are never suited with their surroundings and pos- 
sessions. There are many farmers who are not only 
not cheerful, but always complaining. The weather 
never suits them ; it is always too hot or too cold, too 
wet or too dry. I regret to say it, but there are 
many young ladies who fret away a large part of their 
lives ; who chafe at every small annoyance ; who re- 
ceive but little enjoyment from the pleasures around 
them ; who complain at the movements of Providence. 
The climate, the winds, the seasons, all are everlast- 
ingly adverse to them. They have the worst home 
on earth ; the poorest clothes of anybody in society ; 
the hardest lot of any mortal ; the poorest health of 
any one in the country, and a worse fate than all 
their acquaintances. The fault lies in the complainer, 
and not in the surrounding circumstances. It is a 
defect of habit. It is a defect of character. It re- 
sults from peculiar idiosyncrasies, morbid disposition, 
inordinate ambition, novel reading, gloomy thought, 
and the evil spirit of fault-finding. Such people are 
greatly to be pitied. They lack cheerfulness, and do 
their share to make the world sad and gloomy. These 
dreadful fault-finding dispositions and gloomy habits of 
thought should be banished, and cheerfulness should be 
cultivated. We are made to be cheerful, and not sorrowful. 
Everything around us should contribute to our joy and 
cheerfulness. Our minds are so constituted that we 
can spend them in joy and sunshine. Our hearts are so 


formed that we can give them over to peace and hope. 
The world about us was designed not to make us 
gloomy, but to fill up our lives with beauty and love. 
The studded and sparkling heavens above us are calcu- 
lated to animate us with reverent joy, and not with 
irreverent repining. To be gloomy is to be on the 
wrong side of life and to be sinful. ^Disappointments 
may come, but if we will be cheerful they will teach 
us valuable lessons. Failures may crush our hopes, 
but cheerfulness will enable us to go on our way re- 
joicing. Acquaintances may abuse us, but cheerful- 
ness will enable us to stand up under their venom, and 
at last to win them to us. Others may spend our earn- 
ings, yet cheerfulness will teach us that it is more 
blessed to give than to receive. Our friends may die 
and leave us, yet cheerfulness will teach us that these 
light afflictions, which are but for a moment, will work 
out for us a far more exceeding glory. If we would 
be cheerful in study, duty, labor, and improving pleas- 
ures, we must seek it in personal, domestic, business, 
church, and public life ; we must seek cheerfulness in 
all the opportunities of life ; from friends, from nature, 
from books, and from God. 

Thus seeking, we shall find. It is our duty to be 
cheerful. We owe it to our friends, our companions, 
and our relatives. We owe it to our trades and pro- 
fessions. We owe it to ourselves and to our God. 
By thus being cheerful, our labor will be lightened, 
our health promoted, our sorrows lessened, society 
blessed, and God praised. 

Temperance is another essential material in every 
good character. Temperance is moderation, self- 
control, and self-government. It is the opposite of 


every excess. It is one of the most valuable graces 
of the spirit. It is broad in meaning, embracing the 
firm ruling of one's whole nature which makes the 
Christian greater than he who takes a city. We should 
be temperate in the use of our money, our words, and 
our appetites. We should be temperate in eating, in 
drinking, and in all the enjoyments of life. We should 
be temperate in all things. But few things will dam- 
age a man sooner than the suspicion that he is intem- 
perate. A minister must be temperate as well as 
preach temperance. Who wants an intemperate physi- 
cian to prescribe for him, an intemperate attorney to 
argue for him, an intemperate, mechanic to build for 
him, or an intemperate agent to represent his interests? 
This grace should be practiced at all times ; when 
alone, in the home, and in the world. We are told to 
add temperance to our knowledge. Temperance is 
one of the essential materials which is conducive to 
health of body, strength of mind, purity of affection, 
steadiness of nerve, clearness of brain, and the de- 
velopment of the soul. It is one of the sure defenses 
against injustice, lust, impurity, crime, disease, pov- 
erty, and destruction. Those who possess temperance 
have a bulwark against many temptations and an in- 
centive to many virtues. No good and useful charac- 
ter is complete without it. 

Truthfulness is another one of the essential mate- 
rials in building a good character. There can be no 
character without truthfulness. Perhaps no one qual- 
ity commands the same respect as truthfulness. It is 
the fountain of all excellence. It shines through every 
action and word. It enables its possessor to be trusted. 
A man who is truthful can always be relied upon. He 


does what he says. He fulfills his promises. Liars 
are detested by man, angels, and God. It is said that 
all liars shall have, their part in the lake that burneth 
with fire and brimstone. They deserve it. If men 
are untruthful it is because they are lazy, proud, or 
cowardly. They are too lazy to build up a truthtul 
character ; they are too proud to appear as they are ; 
they are too cowardly to speak the truth at all times. 
Dryden says, "Time shall approve the truth." Taci- 
tus says, " Truth is brought to light by time." The 
truthful character will last for all time, because it is 
genuine gold, through and through. The false char- 
acter will soon be detected by time, because it is merely 
plated. During all ages truthfulness has stood as one 
of the crowning excellencies in the formation of charac- 
ter. Christ has said that he came to testify of the 
truth. Paul said, "Speak the truth in love." The 
Latin proverb says, "Truth is powerful, and she will 
prevail." The Spanish proverb says, "Truth is God's 
daughter." Esdras says, " Great is truth, and mighty 
above all things." Shakepeare says, " Tell the truth, 
and shame the devil." Dryden says : 

" Truth has such a face and such amein, 
As to be loved needs but to be seen." 

Considering this array of wisdom, would you pre- 
vail ; would you be powerful ; would you wear with 
time ; would you be loved ; would you shame the 
devil ; would you be a follower of Christ — build up 
truthfulness in your character. 

Virtue is another one of the essential materials in 
the building of a character. Virtue is chastity, purity, 
moral strength. Everything that tarnishes the mind, 


obscures the vision and corrupts the heart should be 
avoided. Everything that draws us from the spiritual 
toward the animal should be avoided. Everything in 
wit or literature which tends to destroy the purity of the 
character should be avoided. There are so many im- 
pure and depraved heads and hearts in our country 
that the shoemaker has to cut the leather, the tailor 
the cloth, the mantuamaker the silk, to suit the licen- 
tious tastes of their impure and depraved customers. 
Many comedies and dramas are produced, many papers 
are published, many books are written, to tickle the 
depraved tastes of the licentious. This spirit is so 
strong in some young men, that respectable parents 
will not allow them to keep company with their daugh- 
ters. Virtue is greatly prized and highly rewarded by 
God and man. The good book says, " Seest thou a 
virtuous woman, her price is above rubies." Add to 
your faith, virtue, etc. "Blessed are the pure in 
heart, for they shall see God." "Unto the pure all 
things are pure. " Pope says : 

" O let us still the secret joy partake, 
To follow virtue e'en for virtue's sake." v 

How much sweeter is a virtuous character than one 
that is tainted with impurity. How much nobler is 
a pure conversation than one that is mixed with vulgar 
tales. How much lovelier is a virtuous heart than one 
filled with corruption. The spirit of licentiousness has 
such a strong hold on some young men that they think 
that none are virtuous. But the fault is in their own 
immorality. The lack of virtue caused the downfall 
of ancient Greece and Rome. And the lack of virtue 
has brought disease, unhappiness, and ruin upon thou- 


sands of men and women in our own beautiful land. 
Would you be trusted, would you have your society 
sought, would you have your company enjoyed, would 
you preserve the high standard of virtue committed to 
you by your fathers and mothers, would you see God, 
would you be pure in thought, in heart, in conversa- 
tion, in word, and in deed ? Then be virtuous. 

Love is another essential in the building of the 
character. The word love embraces a great deal. It 
covers the ground of pity, attachment, friendship, 
sympathy, generosity, benevolence, and reverence. 
Man was made to love. Without this trait of charac- 
ter, life is void of usefulness and sunshine ; without this 
the strangers are not taken in, the sick are not visited, 
the hungry are not fed, the thirsty are not watered, 
and none of the unfortunate are cared for. This is 
the strong tie which binds men together. This is the 
tie that thrills the heart with joy ; this is the tie which 
enables men to fight the world's battles, to endure suf- 
fering and the blasts of misfortune. For the love of 
home, men remain pure, and labor until they are fatigued. 
For the love of country, men go to war and shed their 
blood. For the love of the deaf and dumb, the blind, 
and the insane, men build asylums. For the love of 
the poor, men build alms-houses. For the love of the 
orphans, men build and endow orphans' homes. For 
the love of liberty and protection, men frame laws and 
pay taxes. For the love of education, men build 
school-houses and employ teachers. For the love of 
the heathen, men send to them and support in their 
midst thousands of missionaries. For the love of God, 
men build churches and support preachers. The eter- 
nal law is, "Honor all men." "Love thy neighbor 


as thyself." "Weep with them that weep; rejoice 
with them that rejoice." The essence of life is love. 
The essence of Christianity is love. "God is love." 
Love is the one thing needful ; it is the first and great- 
est commandment. Upon this hang all the law and 
the prophets. This is obedience to Christ. He who 
loves God, dwells in his heart. It makes God his 
Father; binds earth to heaven. Love never fails. 
All personal achievements, all inventions, all intellec- 
tual masteries, all exploits, prophecies, tongues, and 
knowledge will fail and pass away, but love will never 
pass away. It will never fail. It will never cease. It 
will carry us through the storms and trials of life ; 
through the valley and shadow of death ; through the 
judgment and into heaven. Then the last essential 
trait of character which we name is love. Love for 
the rich, that they may not oppress the poor ; love for 
the poor, that they be exalted ; love for the hungry, 
that they may be fed ; love for the learned, that they 
may use their knowledge to educate humanity; love 
for the ignorant, that they may be trained up in the 
arts, science, religion, and literature of the world ; love 
for the aged, that their last days may be the most com- 
fortable of all ; love for children, that they may be 
nurtured in the admonition of the Lord; love for the 
sick, that they may be nursed and healed ; love for the 
drunkard, that he may be lifted out of the ditch and 
have his manhood restored unto him ; love for the 
vicious, that temperance may throb in their hearts; 
love for the unfortunate of the world, that they may 
be shielded until they reach the land where they shall 
see, and hear, and speak, and think, and leap for joy ; 
love for the savage, that they may be civilized ; love 


for all who are out of God's vineyard, that they may 
return to holiness, to happiness, to heaven, and to 

Thus we have pointed out in the building of character 
the great necessity of taking heed to the foundation, 
and the providing of the essential materials of health, 
industry, truthfulness, frugality, cheerfulness, and love. 

Now in reference to the manner of building the 
character : 

It should be done earnestly. "Life is real, life 
is earnest. " The world's greatest and grandest men 
have been earnest men. Cromwell earnestly labored 
for the interests of England. Washington earnestly 
labored for independence. Webster earnestly labored 
for the union. Edison earnestly labors with his in- 
ventions. Moody earnestly labors to convert souls to 
God. Luther was so earnest in the reformation that 
his words rang in throbs of fire and eloquence through 
all Germany. Paul labored earnestly to break down 
the partition between Jew and Gentile. Life is earn- 
est ; death is earnest ; eternity is earnest ; God is 
earnest. Temptations flee before the earnest man; 
dangers give way to the earnest man ; success comes 
to him; the whole armor is worn by him. He has on 
the breastplate of righteousness ; he is bound with the 
girdle of truth ; his feet are shod with the gospel of 
truth ; his head is crowned with the hope of salvation ; 
and in his hand is the sword of the Spirit. 

Character should be built for inspection. Time 
and eternity lay open the character to the view of 
men and angels. Every large budding is inspected by 
the builder; every stone and every timber must be of 
a certain quality. So it is with a man's character. 


He should build for the inspection of man, angels and 
God ; for the inspection of time, judgment and eter- 
nity. Judgment will soon come, when every man 
shall be called upon to give an account for the deeds 
done in the body ; when his real character shall be 
made manifest ; when all the masks shall be torn away, 
and men shall stand as they are. Then in building the 
character we should build for judgment, heaven and 

For all such characters there is reward. 

i. There is the reward of self-respect. There is 
nothing that will equal an approving conscience ; there 
is nothing that will hurt the genuine character; neither 
lies nor persecutions will give worry to the man of 
character. He finds a great pleasure in being and 
doing right. He finds a sublimity full and deep in his 
own rectitude. If he is overwhelmed by circum- 
stances, he will yet arise and shine. 

2. There is great happiness arising from the pos- 
session of a true character. By day and by night the 

possessor lives in smiles. In sickne-ss and in health ; in 
trouble and in joy ; in life and in death ; in time and in 
eternity, he is happy. " His leaf wi-thers not, and his 
fruit is not cast away." 

3. People of true character always have the esteem 
of others. "Character determines the respect or dis- 
respect which men receive." The world mirrors back 
to men just what they are. If a man is a fool, he is 
treated as such ; if a drunkard, he is treated as a 
drunkard ; if an honest and prudent man, he is treated 
as such. The character is the only thing that will win 
the confidence. Men are trusted because of their 
character. Men are trusted because of their charac- 


ter; much more than because of their silver and gold. 
In this world but few things can fill the heart with 
greater joy or higher pleasure than the confidence, trust, 
good will, and friendly regard of our iellow-men. These 
can only be had by the building up of honest char- 

4. Good character also contributes much to success 
in life. Young men of good character and of good 
principles are always wanted. They have plenty of 
capital in stock. They have friends, funds, patronage, 
and recommendation. The world finds it out, and they 
receive assistance and encouragement. Thus it is that 
true character always wins. 

5. Another reward of true character is that of help- 
ing and inspiring others. " Character is catching." 
Let a man of good character come into your presence, 
and you are benefitted thereby. A man's character 
can not be hid. He is a "light of the world." He is 
always impressing himself upon others — his seniors, 
his juniors, his equals, and his inferiors. The influence 
may be silent, but it is strong and cogent. This is the 
great way of doing good by being good. What was 
it gave Washington such great influence, and caused 
Adams to write to him, saying, "In view of the 
probable trouble of France, we must have your name, 
if you will permit us to use it, because in it there will 
be more efficiency than in many an army " ? What 
was it caused the people of Israel to cling so closely to 
Joshua ? What was it that gave Paul such an influence 
over men ? Why was it the presence of Wellington 
enabled his soldiers to win in nearly every great battle 
in which they fought ? Rightly, the world says Char- 
acter; honest purpose, and honest character. 


6. Another reward of good character is, that it will 
enable man to live after he is dead. It was the mighty char- 
acter of Caesar after his death that stirred all Rome to mu- 
tiny, and made his followers more alive, more terrible, and 
more powerful than when he was with them. Luther's 
words are still living in the world, though his bones 
have long since mouldered in the dust. Paul is still 
alive. Wesley is still alive. All great reformers are, 
in character, still alive. Not only their intelligence 
and great deeds, but their great characters are still liv- 
ing to inspire us. Their works are still following them. 

The last reward of a good character which we 
mention, is that of eternal bliss. This is bestowed only 
upon people of earnest, loving character. Upon the 
character hinges the eternal welfare. If the character 
in this world is foul, eternity will make it known. It 
will stir up the waters of the river to the very bottom, 
and if there be mud, it will appear. " Character is the 
dying dress of the soul." It is the sentence of the 
eternal Judge. If it is holy, it will be holy still. If it 
is filthy, it will be filthy still. We shall appear then 
as we are now. Oh, the great need, then, of building 
for eternity, of building earnestly, of building up from 
a firm foundation, of building in truth, in industry, in 
cheerfulness, and in love. Then, when time shall be 
no more, when Christ shall come, great will be the 
rewards for the well-built character. 

In closing, let me say to every young man 
and woman, now is the time to build ; now is the 
time to plant yourselves upon the firm foundation; 
now is the golden period of your lives; now is 
the preparing time; now the day of salvation; 
now the time to form a good character, without 


which you are poor and unworthy. It was the lack of 
individual character which caused the downfall of 
Athens and of Rome. The lack of lovely character 
has caused the ruin of untold millions. Knowing these 
things to be true, knowing how to build a good char- 
acter, knowing the rewards for such a good character, 
will you not help to make the church and State by the 
greatness of your individual characters? Will you not 
take Christ for your model of a great and good charac- 
ter, and aim to build up on his principles ? With the 
light of his example to guide you, will you not aim at 
reaching the highest possible standard of truthfulness 
and love ? To become great in character, true in char- 
acter, and virtuous in character, should be the aim of 
every young man and woman. Make a good character 
the inspiring glory on the mountain top. Make a good 
character the very crown of your life ; make it your 
honor, your life, your religion. Set it before you as a 
celestial beauty, shining with love. Make it your 
greatest poem, and your sweetest melody. Make it 
your loveliest hymn, and your greatest aim. Do this, 
and great will be your reward in time and in eternity. 


Solomon pictures the sluggard as one who yawns 
for a little more sleep and a little more slumber. He 
speaks of pride as going before destruction, and a 
haughty spirit before a fall. He tells us that a virtu- 
ous woman is one whose price is far above rubies. He 
speaks of the drunkard as one who hath woe, who 
hath babblings, who hath sorrow, who hath conten- 
tions, who hath wounds without cause, who hath red- 
ness of eyes. He speaks of wine as biting like a 
serpent and stinging like an adder. He says of the 
world and the things of the world, that "all is vanity 
of vanities and vexation of spirit." He says that the 
whole duty of man is to " fear God and keep his com- 
mandments," and that "a wise man keepeth the com- 
pany of wise men." 

The desire for society is natural; every living thing 
desires the society of its species. Flowers bloom in 
clusters, grapes grow in bunches, birds fly in flocks, fishes 
swim in schools, cattle, horses, and sheep delight to 
roam and graze in herds and droves. Man's desire for 
society is so strong that in the absence of his fellow 
beings he will become attached to the beasts, birds or 
insects. Count DeLauzan was imprisoned for nine 
years. But one ray of light shone into his prison 
through a crack in the wall. By this light he discov- 
ered a spider in the corner of his cell. He tried to tame 



the spider ; he played with it and assisted it in the build- 
ing of its web. The iailer at last discovered the count's 
company, and in cruelty he killed the spider and de- 
stroyed the web. For months the count grieved over 
the loss of the little spider, to which he had become 
so deeply attached. 

By associating with our fellow-men we derive mutual 
helpfulness. By this we transact business ; by this we 
establish societies and churches. Each man, like a 
wheel in a watch, has a function to perform, and a part 
to play. We are known by our associates. None of 
us are impregnable to the influences thrown around us. 
We are all prone to imitate that which we see in others. 
Just as surely as our bodies derive strength from what 
we eat, our characters draw wisdom or folly from our 
associates. After the chief priests had talked with one 
of Christ's disciples, they took knowledge that he had 
been with Jesus. Herbert Spencer says, "Keep good 
company and you will be of the number." If we 
associate with wise men we will become wise. If we 
associate with good people we will soon become good. 
"If we live with wolves we will soon learn to howl." 
If we live with fools we will become foolish. " Birds 
of a feather flock together." The refined naturally 
love the refined, while the low and vicious naturally 
love the low and vicious. Tell me with whom you as- 
sociate, and I will tell you who and what you are. If 
you associate with the covetous, you are worldly ; if 
you associate with mean men, you are mean ; if you 
associate with noble men, you are noble at heart. 

Associates are intimate friends, near companions. 
Every young man and woman should have some confi- 
dential friends, to whom he or she can go and receive 


counsel, cheer, advice, and encouragement. It is best 
not to become too intimate, or to have too many asso- 
ciates ; but nearly all great and wise men have a few 
companions and friends who are so near to them that 
they can trust them with many of their secrets. Such 
friends are of great value. They are equal to many 
fortunes. Their advice, wisdom, influence, and ex- 
ample are often sought and needed. Socrates was 
once seen building a small house. Some questioned 
him why so small a house for so great a man, to which 
he replied, " If I should fill it with true friends I 
should feel myself sufficiently accommodated." >^ 

Tlie associates and influences of home do much during 
early years to mold the character; but as the intellect 
begins to expand, new associates are found. Fre- 
quently young men and women leave the parental 
roof, and with buoyant spirits push out into the wide 
world, ofttimes casting their lot in the midst of 

Associates they will have, and as we are greatly in- 
fluenced and judged by our associates, v/e should exer_ 
cise wisdom in choosing them. 

We are exhorted to walk with wise men — i. e. , choose 
for our associates men of wisdom, prudence, and good 
judgment. Choose those who rightly use their knowl 
edge, talents, and opportunities. Select those who 
are wise as to the prosperity of the commonwealth, 
wise as to the interests of the church, wise as to the 
happiness of their friends, and wise as to their conver- 
sation, reading, business transactions, and the interests 
of their souls. By selecting such for our associates we 
lose much of our ignorance and crude manners, and 
become increased in virtue, prudence, and useful 


knowledge. The very clods beneath the blossoming 
orange tree are fragrant with the odor from the sweet 
orange blossoms. 


" He who steals my purse steals trash," but when 
the character is gone all is gone. It is man's stock in 
trade ; it is his inner worth and wealth. Our associates 
should possess unquestionable and unimpeachable char- 
acters. They should be known for their honesty, dili- 
gence, truthfulness, temperance, decision, virtue, and 
love. If we pick such for our friends we shall become 
like them. But if we mingle with people of bad char- 
acter, we are apt to be corrupted and contaminated by 
their foul influence. One rotten apple will rot all the 
others around it. So one bad man will do much 
toward making many men bad. How often has one bad 
pupil taught his vileness to scores of others? Cassius 
instigated Brutus to join the conspiracy against Caesar. 
A well-to-do man in a Southern city had, prior to mov- 
ing to said city, been in good repute; but, shortly 
after his arrival, he fell in with a class of people who 
were in ill repute. He was branded as one of them, 
and has never since been able to throw off the influ- 
ence of the evil association, and to move in the better 
class of society. 


with a view of reforming him. Thousands regret this 
undertaking. When a good and a bad man come in 
contact the bad one is made good or the good one is 
made bad. On account of the depravity of human 
nature, the good are often made bad. 


" Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, 
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen ; 
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, then pity, then embrace." 

If we find that one whom we have selected for an 
associate possesses bad habits, such as we can not re- 
form, we should discard him. Because we have taken 
poison into our mouths, there is no need that we should 
swallow it. Then for one unmistakable rule in select- 
ing an associate, choose one who is wise in head and good 
in heart. 

In choosing associates be careful to select those who 
are wise as to the welfare of society. Selfish people are 
always proud, narrow, and domineering. They have 
great influence over their associates to teach them their 
evil disposition. The world cares for people in propor- 
tion to what they do for it ; hence we should seek to 
do good to all men, embracing every opportunity to 
elevate humanity and to advance the cause of right 
and truth. This we can not learn from selfish people. 
The happiest, truest, noblest, wisest, and best people 
on the earth are those who are working for others, for 
their happiness and for their welfare, and not living 
simply for their own wealth, fame, and pleasure. 
Through Haman's selfishness he was hanged. The 
ant labors for itself, the bee for others. Which is of 
more value? If we do discover that any of our asso- 
ciates are selfish, and that their thoughts, aims, pur- 
poses, and time are given exclusively to advance their 
own interests, it will be wise in us to avoid their com- 
pany, unless we have sufficient strength of character 
to stand against their folly and to reform them. 



We want those who will keep secrets. If any- 
come to us telling the secrets of others they are pretty 
sure to go and tell our secrets. There are those in 
almost every community who go about robbing their 
neighbors of secrets and publishing them abroad. They 
are like spies in the camp searching out and exposing 
the weak points. They are like' Judas, they conspire 
to betray their friends. We should be very careful to 
whom we confide our secrets. We are our greatest 
enemies, and in our weaker moments may say and do 
things which, if known to the public, will v/ork us an 
injury. But if we have wise associates they are very 
careful to keep our secrets and conceal our weaknesses 
and faults. 


Energy is commendable. Idle people come to 
poverty and sorrow. They are a pest to the commu- 
nity. Unable to support themselves, they seek to 
gain a living from the energetic and industrious. God 
has no use for them, neither has the church. An old 
proverb says, "An idle man tempts the devil." Even 
this roaring lion has no use for a lazy man. Work 
is honorable, and wise people love to work. Work 
built our railroads and the cars which travel over them. 
Work erected the towering pyramids of Eg) r pt, and 
the greatest buildings of the world. Men of energy 
have written our books, turned our spindles, managed 
our greatest enterprises, and advanced civilization to 


its present high degree. How often do we come in 
contact with people of indomitable energy and push, 
and how greatly are we inspired with their zeal and 
fire, and are given courage to throw ourselves into our 
work and to push on to success. We want for our 
associates people who wisely use their talents, whether 
these talents be few or many, whether they are the 
talents of the farmer, mechanic, author, statesman, 
teacher, lawyer, merchant, or the minister. No matter 
in what pursuit the talents are used, so they labor 
for humanity and God. 


Spendthrifts come to poverty. They should be 
avoided. It is a great blessing to know how to make 
money ; it is a greater olessing to know how to use it 

Those who know that money is to be used for no- 
ble purposes, those who practice frugality in the use 
of money are safe associates, but those who squander 
their money on the ball-room, theater, and race course, 
are not to be trusted. 


What is time for ? It is certainly not to be wasted 
in idle gossip, in loafing, idleness, gambling, and the 
like. Judge of a people by the way they use their 
time. Time is too short to think of killing it or of 
wasting it. It is given to spend in useful endeavor 
and noble enterprise It is given to attend to the lesser 
and greater duties of life. The lesser duties are mostly 
those which pertain to the necessities of the body. 
The greater pertain to the adorning of the head with 


love and truth. The Lord watches over us as regards 
the way we are using time. Then let us mingle with 
those who work up the moments, hours, and days unto 
the highest possible use. 


People who jest at the Bible and scoff at Christian- 
ity, are dangerous associates. They generally have 
little morality and but little virtue. They are unsafe 
companions. They are sure to taint their associates 
with irreverence, infidelity, and disrespect. They pos- 
sess no humility ; they do not properly view them- 
selves, nor the value of Christianity. They are generally 
full of deceit and flattery, and are vain in the extreme. 
They should be avoided as you would avoid poison 
itself. When Christ is gone, all hope is gone ; life is 
a failure, and it were better that we had never been 
born. It is safest to select friends from amongst those 
who are in the church. Not every man in the church 
is a Christian, and not every man in the saloon is a 
wicked man ; but, as a general thing, those who stead- 
fastly obey the precepts and imbibe the maxims 
which are set forth in the Bible, are the safest and 
wisest friends. People who know more about the sa- 
loons, games, base ball clubs, the value of wines, the 
quality of cigars, etc., etc., should be passed by, and 
allowed to associate with their own likes. The Psalm- 
ist says : " My companions are they that obey the Lord 
and obey his precepts. " Such people are always friends 
in sorrow, ever ready to lend a helping hand in time of 
trouble. If you choose wisely, you will choose them 
for your associates. 



People whom you dare not introduce into your 
homes are not safe associates. Go with those people 
in whose company you would be glad to be seen, 
whether on the street, in church, or in the home. This 
is considered an excellent rule in choosing your friends. 


By doing this it will have a tendency to elevate and 
ennoble you. Especially choose those who, in some 
one direction, are superior to yourself. It is right to 
mingle with all people. Jesus did this. He ate with 
publicans and sinners; he walked among the low, de- 
graded, and vicious. You are to do likewise. Jesus 
had his intimate associates, James, Peter, and John. 
You may deal and mingle with many people, far be- 
neath you in character and situation ; yet, for your in- 
timate friends, your bosom companions, choose those 
who are equally as good, if not better than yourself. 

Note the truthfulness of the proverb : ' ' The com- 
panion of fools shall be destroyed." Their way ends 
in destruction. Samson lost his strength by choosing 
the wicked Delilah for his associate. Association with 
the covetous Jezebel brought destruction upon Ahab. 
Solomon, in associating with women of other nations, 
forsook God, set up other altars, and brought dis- 
grace upon himself. Saul, in associating with the 
witch ot Endor, brought a stain upon his character, and 
disgrace upon his name. Judas, in associating with 
the chief priests, was persuaded to sell his Saviour. 
The association of the princes of Babylon with Belshaz- 


zar caused their destruction. Herod's association with 
the wicked Herodias led to the beheading of John 
the Baptist. Thus we see the evil influences and ten- 
dencies of associating, walking, sitting, and standing 
with foolish and wicked people. 

On the other hand, great, powerful, and stimulat- 
ing is the effect of associating with the wise. It builds 
up the character, strengthens the sentiment, purifies 
the heart, and inspires to deeds of honor and useful- 
ness. Association with truly wise men is equal to 
reading many good books. Better stand off and look 
at Gladstone, than to be personally acquainted with all 
the would-be pugilists. Fox said : "All the political 
information which I have gained from books, from sci- 
ence, and from the world, if put in one side of the 
scales, and that which I have gained by associating 
with Burke, in the other side, the latter will outweigh 
the former." It is said that meeting with Washington, 
shaking hands with him, and conversing with him for 
a short time, sent an electric power for good through 
one's whole life. Joshua Reynolds, at the age of ten, 
pushed his way through a crowd, thrust his hand be- 
tween two people to touch the famous Pope. Thucy- 
dides, the emininent Grecian historian, when a boy, 
heard Herodotus read a portion of his history, stood 
before him and wept. It so filled and inspired him 
that, in after life, he planned out and wrote a famous 
history, which is still in existence. When Demos- 
thenes was a ^oung man he was so enthused on hearing 
the eloquence of a renowned orator, that he resolved 
to become a public speaker, and, in spite of his many 
discouragements, he succeeded. Haydn, the great 
musician, so admired a great composer that he applied 


for the position of valet. He brushed the composer's 
shoes and coat, took charge of his horse, ran his er- 
rands, and would listen in rapt attention to his charm- 
ing music. The association so inspired him that he 
resolved to become a composer, and in after years his 
name towered high above that of his employer. Buf- 
fon kept Newton's portrait always before him in his 
study. Schiller placed Shakespeare's bust and writings 
near him in his library, to draw inspiration and strength 
from them. Canning followed Pitt from place to place to 
hear him speak. Lady Erskine chose Lady Huntingdon 
for a companion, and after Lady Huntingdon's death, 
Lady Erskine was elected to fill her station and carry 
on the work in the chapels. David chose Jonathan for 
a companion, and how sweet and inspiring is the story 
of their friendship and mutual helpfulness. God gave 
Aaron to Moses as an associate, and how faithfully they 
traveled and labored together. Peter and John were com- 
panions and fellow-laborers. Paul took Barnabas with 
him on one missionary journey, and Silas on another. He 
always had some faithful brother as a companion, and 
ever speaks in praise of him. The example of wise 
men never die. Their deeds, their words, their looks, 
ever live to inspire their friends to usefulness and deeds 
of love and honor. Their bodies may be buried, but 
their deeds and influence still speak to us. Thus we 
see what an Influence it brings into our lives, to select 
for our associates wise, good and noble men. 

I can not close without recommending for an asso- 
ciate a pre-eminently wise man — "A friend that stick- 
eth closer than a brother. " It is Jesus Christ, the Son 
of God. He is the best associate, because he is the 
wisest. He knoweth all things past, present, and to 


come. He knoweth our weaknesses and our wants. 
He is able to make us strong wherein we are weak, 
and to supply our every want. We love people of in- 
fluence and power. Jesus has influence with the angels 
to make them encamp around about them that fear 
him. He has influence with God, so that he can make 
everything work for good to them that love him. He 
is not only the wisest friend, and best friend, but he is 
the oldest friend. He was our friend before either we 
or our parents were born — from before the beginning 
of the world. He is an ever-present friend. When we 
are sick we love to have some dear friend or relative 
with us, but often distance separates them from us ; 
but this friend Jesus is ever present, to sustain us with 
his power, cheer us by his spirit, and guide us by his 
unerring counsel. He is a patient friend; many of 
our friends tire of us, but Jesus will endure with long 
suffering our infirmities and short comings. He is a 
sympathetic associate. This we love. He is touched 
with our infirmities. Did not the sorrows of Martha 
and Mary cause him to weep? Did he not weep over 
the sins of Jerusalem ? Did not the sins of the world 
cause him to suffer crucifixion? He is an impartial 
friend. He will do as much for publicans and sinners 
as for the mighty and powerful. He is no respecter of 
persons. All who love and obey him find in him a 
friend in every time of need. We should take hi-m for 
our friend, and reciprocate his friendship. We can do 
this by keeping his commandments. "Ye are my 
friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. ' ' We can 
reciprocate his friendship by giving up everything that 
is contrary to his law, by denying ourselves, taking up 
our cross and following him. We can reciprocate his 


friendship by communing with him, by consecrat- 
ing our time, talents, and energies to the extension of 
his cause. By loving his disciples, by doing good to all 
men, especially those of the household of faith. We 
can also reciprocate his friendship by recommending 
him to these around us who stand so greatly in need 
of him. 

Then let us take him for our intimate friend and 
associate. Let us take him because we need him to 
guide us on our way. If the way is dark, he will point 
us to the light. If the way is full of temptations, he 
will succor us from them. If there are many by-paths 
on the way, he will point us to the strait and narrow 
way that leads to life eternal. Let us take him to beau- 
tify our souls, to adorn our characters, to purify our 
sentiment, to ennoble our lives, to sooth, us in pain, to 
cheer us in adversity, to give us victory over death to 
blot out our sins from the Lamb's Book of Life, to re- 
move far from us the terrors of judgment, and to give 
us everlasting light, joy, love, and glory. 


Language is the expression of thought and feeling 
by means of articulate sounds, or written characters 
or signs formed by skill and invention. God used 
language as a medium in creating the universe. 
He said: "Let there be light," "Let there be a 
firmament," "Let the waters be gathered together 
unto one place," "Let the dryland appear," "Let 
the earth bring forth grass, herb, fruit tree, and 
living creature after its kind, " ' ' Let there be light in the 
firmament of the heavens," " Let the waters bring 
forth abundantly the moving creatures that have life," 
and ' ' Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. " 


The first man did not have to learn the "mother 
tongue." God gave a language to him. Take a little 
child before it has grown old enough to talk, and shut 
it up with mutes, away from all articulate sounds, and, 
though its organs of speech and hearing be perfect, yet 
it will not learn to talk. This is sufficient to show that 
language was given to man by our heavenly Father. 
This is also a strong argument in favor of the authen- 
ticity of the Scriptures. 

Language is the medium through which we commu- 
nicate our thoughts and feelings to one another. 


Mind is the fountain of happiness and misery. Lan- 
guage is employed to make known the thoughts of the 
mind to the world. Through this medium all feelings 
and sentiments, not too deep for utterance, are made 
known. Through this medium our notions, beliefs 
and opinions are expressed. Through this medium we 
discourse upon the great question of schools, commerce, 
political economy, government, and religion. Through 
this medium the "glad tidings of salvation" are her- 
alded to the old and the young. Through this medium 
we learn of the rich treasures from the most richly en- 
dowed intellects. Through this medium we bring 
around us the great and good of all past ages. Through 
this medium we learn of the earth and the things of the 
earth, and of the glittering heavens above us. Through 
this medium the millions of pupils in our schools, 
academies and colleges are taught the arts and sciences, 
literature and history. Through this medium millions 
of people are informed of the news of the day. Through 
this medium nations hold converse one with another. 

We are judged largely, both by man and God, by 
the language we use. In the course of life we meet 
many people but once or twice ; most of them will 
form an opinion of us ; they will form that opinion 
upon our conversation more than anything else. If 
our language be unchaste and unrefined, they will 
judge us as glaring specimens of rudeness ; but if our 
language be chaste and refined, they will judge us as 
being pure and cultured. It is our duty to clothe our 
thoughts in beautiful language and in choice words, 
and thereby make our conversation as words fitly 
spoken, which " are like apples of gold in pictures of 


We are taught that God will hold us accountable 
for all of our idle words. Language being the medium 
by which God created the universe ; being the medium 
through which man communicates his thoughts to his 
fellow-beings ; being the medium through which we 
learn of the world's history and greatness ; being the 
medium through which we learn the arts and sciences ; 
being the medium through which salvation is proclaimed; 
and being judged largely, both by man and God, by our 
language, is it not of the greatest importance that we 
strive to make our language pure, our diction elegant, 
our conversation charmingly delightful to the ear, ap- 
propriate to the occasion, instructive to the hearer, 
and free from all corruptions and perversions ? We 
shall give a few suggestions which, if heeded, will as- 
sist in purging our conversation from all impurities. 

1. " Let no corrupt speech proceed from your 
mouth." That is, let no indecent, lewd, foul, or 
vicious communications proceed from your lips. Let 
nothing immodest that you have learned from papers, 
books, pictures, signs, or anecdotes ; let nothing that will 
taint the virtue of the heart, the beauty of the imagina- 
tion, the purity of the mind, and let nothing that will 
stir the animal passions, proceed from your lips. All 
obscene communications should be rigidly avoided, 
both in the shop, in the home, at the store, and on the 
farm. No respectable person should descend to im- 
modest speech, either by hint, look, or glaring word. 
Nothing should be said to any associate that you 
would not say to a sister, or brother, or mother, or in 
the presence of a number of refined ladies. Honorable 
people will mark those who indulge in obscene speech 
as being low and vicious, and will doubt their purity of 


heart and mind. Follow the instructions given by that 
grand old Book: "Let no corrupt speech proceed 
out cf your mouth." 

2. Avoid talkativeness. There is an immodest 
propensity in many people to talk too much. Such 
are generally frivolous in conversation. They talk 
back and forth. They neither give nor receive any ideas. 
Light conversation at times may be allowed to rest the 
brain, but when the brain needs no rest, when people 
talk for the mere sake of talking, when the conversa- 
tion descends to idle gossip, uninteresting and unin- 
structive subjects, then this deplorable talkativeness be- 
gins. Those who talk too much, who are hasty in 
their words, are often weak and rash in judgment. 
They frequently speak all of their mind when it would 
be wisdom to keep quiet. That is a good maxim : 
"Let every man be quick to hear, but slow to speak, 
and slow to wrath." Another says: " In a multitude 
of words there wanteth not sin," and "In many words 
there are divers vanities." People who are given to 
talkativeness, garrulity and loquacity, are not only 
weak in judgment, but they make many repetitions. 
They frequently tell the same story, relate stale anec- 
dotes, give worn-out illustrations, and thereby bore 
their friends. Our conversation should never descend 
to low, silly, and idle themes. There is nothing in- 
structive in it, no good comes out of it, we feel none 
the better after we have engaged in it, and there is 
nothing elevating imparted to our friends. 

3. Avoid the use of "slang" and "by-words." 
There may be times when one can play upon words 
and add a harmless and picturesque phrase, but when 
one descends to the common " by- words " and "slang 


phrases " of the day, there is nothing chaste or refined 
in their conversation. Slang is of Gypsy origin. By- 
words should never be used by the refined and respec- 
table. All such phrases as " 'pon my honor," " I bet 
you," "my gracious," " my goodness," "law me," 
etc., etc., should never be used by those who make 
any claim to politeness and respectability. 

Some parents are very careful how their children 
use their hands and feet, but pay very little attention 
to that little member, the tongue, which is so unruly. 
Slang and by-words should be avoided, because there 
is nothing beautiful and pure in them ; they edify no 
one, they impart no grace to the hearers, and they re- 
flect no honor on those who use them. 

4. Exaggeration should be avoided. Exaggeration 
is commonly termed an enlargement of the truth. 
There are many to whom the plain truth seems com- 
mon ; hence they illustrate it with their imagination 
and extravagance. They overreach in nearly every- 
thing they say. How common are such sayings as 
" No one has so hard a lot as I have," " My dress is 
the worst looking of any in town, " " I never saw such a 
crowd of people," "It is the best dinner I ever ate," 
" He is the ugliest man I ever saw," " I did not sleep ten 
minutes last night," "I never was so sick in all my 
life," "It is awfully awful," "It is horribly horri- 
ble," "It is terribly terrible." How often do chil- 
dren come home from school with such exaggerations 
proceeding from their lips ; how often do we hear such 
phrases in refined and respectable homes. All of these 
sayings should be avoided. The plain truth is enough. 
It needs not to be magnified and enlarged. Those 
who live in the superlative degree, who feel, think, see, 


suffer, and enjoy to their utmost capacity, should be 
always watching against their common fault of exagger- 
ation. It weakens the influence of all who indulge in 
its use. 

5. Profane speech should not be allowed to proceed 
from the lips. It is damaging to society, damaging to 
the swearer, and blasphemy to God. Those who swear 
do it either through anger or through a desire to em- 
phasize what they have to say, or through weakness of 
intellect ; being unable to give reasonable arguments, 
they give forth a number of these epithets, bringing 
contempt on God, offending the ears of all who hear, 
and belittling themselves. If the profane would swear 
by the name of our mothers, as they do by the name 
of our heavenly Father, we would be tempted to pun- 
ish them. There was a time in the history of the Jew- 
ish nation when the profane were punished by being 
stoned. There was a time in the history of paganism 
when the profane had their tongues bored and fore- 
heads branded. Profanity should be avoided, because 
there is no instructive idea to be expressed ; no good to 
come from it; no ear to be pleased; no honor to be 
acquired ; no credit to be won ; no wealth to be gained ; 
and no favor of God to be earned by using it. It de- 
grades the lofty. It degrades the conversation. It 
exhibits in all who use it a contempt of the law, both 
civil and spiritual. It should never be heard in chaste 
and refined society. 

6. Lying should be avoided. There are a great 
many liars in every community. There are many who 
lie in society by saying, when they do not mean it, " I . 
am so glad to see you,'' "I am so glad you came," 
" Do sit longer. " These things should never be said 


unless there is truth and earnestness in them. There 
are many mercantile liars, those who represent their 
goods to be what they are not, naming qualities which 
they do not possess. There are many mechanical 
liars ; those who promise to do work for you at a 
stated time, and to do work of a certain kind, and 
then fall far short of their promises. There are 
many agricultural liars ; those who represent their 
products or their stock to be sound, when they are 
blinded and defective. There are many who lie 
through custom, who lie to cover faults; many who lie 
simply to perpetrate a joke, and so on. Lies of every 
characttr should be avoided. It is a breach of good 
manners ; it corrupts society ; it lowers the intellect ; 
it brings the wrath of man and God upon those who 
tell them, and, we are told in that word which was 
spoken nineteen centuries ago, that "all liars shall 
have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and 

7. Evil speaking of our fellow-men should be 
avoided. This should be avoided both in their pres- 
ence and in their absence. Flattery, raillery, and ridi- 
cule are ways of evil speaking in the presence of our 

(1.) Avoid flattery. A compliment is all right in its 
place. If a person is wise, if a person has done some- 
thing worthy of commendation, if a person is gener- 
ous in heart, there is no harm in speaking kindly of 
Such traits and accomplishments. It must be done at 
the right time and by the right person. On the other 
hand, flattery is to be condemned. Flattering is but an- 
other way of lying. There may be a little truth in it, 
but there is in it a great element of falsehood. Those 


who flatter are selfish and have selfish ends in view. 
They are untrustworthy and always to be suspected. 
Once there was a king who was flattered by some of 
his officials, and was afterwards requested by them to 
sign a petition which resulted in the casting of one of 
the king's faithful friends, and one of God's faithful 
servants, into a den of lions. There is no good to 
come of flattery. It does harm to the one who is flat- 
tered, oftentimes making him think that he possesses 
virtues which he has not ; it results in harm to the one 
who indulges in it, because he is often suspected of set- 
ting a net and snare for those whom he flatters, and then 
is treated as a "pretended friend," a "selfish one," 
and then there is the higher law which tells us 
to "meddle not with him that fiattereth with his 

(2.) Avoid ridicule. No one likes to be derided by 
his follow-men. Wit is a dangerous gift when it de- 
scends into ridicule and mockery. The personal eccen- 
tricities, physical deformities, past incidents, and 
sacred relations of any one should never be derided. 
Oftentimes actions the most noble and feelings the most 
sacred are presented in a ludicrous light. This is 
wrong, because it wounds the feelings of the one de- 
rided. There is a sort of teasing which is agreeable, 
and some people like it, but it should never be allowed 
to run into excess. This ridicule, this scratching each 
other face to face should also be carefully avoided, be- 
cause society will not long respect one who is made an 
object of ridicule. There is room enough for wit with- 
out descending to personalities. 

(3.) Avoid railing. It is said, " It is better to live in 
a garret than with a scolding woman." The converse 


of this is also true. Parents too often scold their chil- 
dren, and rail upon one another. A cold wind simply 
makes one draw his garments closely around him, 
but a warm sun will compel one to remove the coat. 
"A soft answer turneth away wrath," edifies, begets 
love, and sends rays of sunshine into the heart. We 
should speak no evil of our fellow-men in their ab- 

8. Avoid fault-finding. There are two sorts of charac- 
ters in the world— those who point out errors in order 
to correct them ; mistakes in order to rectify them ; 
faults in order to mend them, and blunders in order to 
set them right; and those who point out errors with a 
view to breaking down those who make them. The world 
has always been cursed with these grumblers and fault- 
finders, from the children of Israel, who grumbled and 
found fault because of their sufferings in the wilder- 
ness, down to the Pharisees, who found fault with 
Christ, on down to the carping fault-finders of to-day. 
They listen, to nothing, but to criticise it; they talk 
with no one, but that they search for their defects and 
failings. They rejoice in their rash judgment and crit- 
ical remarks. They consider their opinion, their acts 
and their words as being next to perfect. They take 
satisfaction in parading the faults of others. They 
delight in making the failings of people their theme 
for conversation. Give to one of these fault-finders a 
friend, or a good meal, and he will see the part which 
is defective, and pass by the good. This should be 
avoided. It should not be cultivated by any one, 
because there is nothing edifying in it ; it minis- 
ters grace to no one, but only wounds and creates 


9. Tale-bearing should be carefully avoided. There 
are many who go about like scavengers and gather up 
the filth and convey it from place to place. They tell 
tales to others; make mischief among neighbors; sow 
discord among relatives, and search for secrets which 
they purpose telling to the public. We are told 
that, "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out; 
so where there is no tale-bearer, the strife ceaseth." 
"The words of the tale-bearer are as wounds. They 
go down deep into the innermost parts." 

10. Backbiting should also be avoided. A backbiter 
is like a sneaking dog, who goes behind and bites. 
He has smiles to the face, but malice and evil-speaking 
behind the back. We are told " backbiters are haters 
of God, and that they shall not dwell in the tabernacle 
of the Lord." 

Lastly, slander should be studiously avoided. This is 
the most dangerous of all evil-speaking. A slanderer 
loves to tear down his neighbor's reputation, busi- 
ness, and character. Like cannibals, they devour 
their fellow-men. Frequently they slander by insinu- 
ating, " Did you know?" " Did you hear ?" " I never 
thought it of her." They often do it by the balancing 
mode. Speak of some excellent trait of character, 
they will speak of the opposite. Do you name a man's 
humility, they will speak of his pride. Do you men- 
tion his liberality, they will speak of his extravagance. 
Do you mention his devotion, they will speak of his cold- 
ness. Do you speak of his friendship, they will call it 
pretetise. Do you speak of his religion, they will call 
it hypocrisy. Do you speak of his courage, they will 
call it selfish interest. They are always looking for these 
ghosts, which they love to dress up and start out to 


frighten society. They exaggerate every feeling; 
they circulate every tale ; they backbite at every 
corner ; they delight in disturbing society. Their 
motives proceed from their natural meanness and 
cruelty of disposition ; from revenge, carrying some 
old grudge ; from envy, disliking to see their fellow- 
men succeeding in business and respectability. Per- 
haps their motive is from a meddling curiosity; per- 
haps from ignorance, not being able to converse about 
that which is noble, instructive, and lofty, they de- 
scend to that which is low and vile. The consequences 
of this pernicious slandering are seen in three direc- 
tions : It injures the party slandered ; it ruins his 
credit and injures his reputation. It injures Society; 
others repeat it, it often creates strifes, and sometimes 
results in quarrels. It is injurious to the one who slan- 
ders ; suspicion is aroused against him ; people mis- 
trust him ; those to whom he talks fear that he will go 
away and slander them ; it hardens his own soul, and 
brings the wrath of God upon him. Every man who 
slanders owes a threefold debt. He should go to the 
party whom he slanders, make an apology to him, and 
beg his pardon ; he should go to the parties to whom 
he has spoken evil, make an explanation to them, and 
beg their pardon ; he should go down upon his knees, 
confess his sins to God, and ask his pardon. 

The following suggestions, if heeded, will aid in 
purging the conversation from evil speech and will 
assist in the right use of the tongue : Remember that 
all evil communications are opposed to the gospel, 
which says, "Let your communications be Yea, Yea, 
and Nay, Nay." "Speak the truth in love." "Let 
no corrupt speech proceed from your mouth." 


" Take not the name of the Lord thy God in vain." 
"Swear not, neither by the heavens nor the earth." 
Remember that evil speaking corrupts the heart ; it 
does no good; it benefits no one, and it is opposed to 
the law of love, which says, ' ' Do unto others as you 
would have others do unto you." Remember that God 
is the judge. Remember, when about to speak evil, to 
repeat these questions : Am I the right person to 
speak of this man's faults and failings ? Are these 
faults and failings such that I should make them 
known ? Is the party to whom I am about to speak 
the right one to know about these things ? Will there 
be any benefit, either to the hearer, or to my own 
soul ? Remember that by keeping silence more wisdom 
is often shown than by much talking. The tongue should 
be kept in all diligence, in all love, and in all humility. 
Another way of avoiding evil speaking is by self- 
culture, by reading histories and biographies, by 
studying literature, science, and art ; by storing the 
mind with noble thought and valuable information. 
Another way is to use the language which God has 
given to us to glorify him and to bless his holy name ; 
and remember that he has promised unto all who fear 
him and talk upon his name that a book of remem- 
brance shall be written for them in his presence, and 
that they shall be his when he comes to make up his 
jewels. Blessed be the one who can thus make use of 
language. Blessed be that man or woman who, with 
sweet speech, can visit the sick room, and by kind 
words carry light and hope into the hearts of the suf- 
ferers. Blessed be the man or woman who, with 
mind filled with noble thoughts and with kind words 
upon the lips, can go among the downfallen, the dis- 


couraged, and the heartbroken, and point out to them 
the way of life, truth, comfort and hope. Blessed be 
the one who purges his conversation from all the evils 
which we have named in this essay, and who is en- 
abled to use refined language in conversation with 
friend, neighbor, companion, at home and abroad. 
Such a one will be blessed in time and eternity, and 
will be blessed by society, angels, and God. 


That marriage is honorable in all, is evident in the 
light of the Scriptures and human reason. It was 
instituted by God in man's innocency. God performed 
the first ceremony, in making them man and woman. 
God blessed Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, 
Boaz and Ruth, Zacharias and Elizabeth, in their union. 
Jesus Christ sanctioned marriage, by gracing a mar- 
riage at Cana, in Galilee, with his presence and his 
first miracle. He said, " For this cause will man leave 
his father and mother, and cleave to his wife ; and the 
twain shall become one." Again, the Scriptures say: 
"It is not good for man to be alone." " Marriage is 
honorable in all." Thus we see that " Christianity has 
exalted marriage with the highest dignity, and crowned 
it with the most sacred duty. It is the symbol of the 
union of Christ with his church. And the consumma- 
tion of hope, purity, and joy in heaven is typified 
under the marriage supper of the Lamb." History, 
experience, and reason teach us that it is through this 
institution that families are formed, built up, and the 
world populated ; and that out of marriage issues an 
increase of happiness, love, and consecration. It pre- 
vents crime, incontinence, and fornication. It promotes 
health, and lengthens life. It has been determined, by 
calculations based on statistics, that the death rate 01 
bachelors is nearly double that of married men. "From 


twenty years of age to the close of life, the mean age 
of married men is fifty-nine and a half years, while that 
of bachelors is only forty ; in other words, married men 
have a chance of living nineteen and a half years longer 
than bachelors." The tendency of marriage is to de- 
crease crime. The percentage of crime committed by 
unmarried men is far greater than that committed by 
married men. The married man is the better prepared 
for business. He has an object in view. He has a 
home to build. He has incentives to virtue, temper- 
ance, industry, and honesty, which the unmarried has 
not. Franklin said: "Once married, you are in the 
way of becoming a useful citizen. The odd half of a 
pair of scissors can not well cut anything." Luther 
said: "The greatest blessing God can confer upon a 
man is to marry young, and to marry a good and 
pious wife." Johnson said: "Marriage is the best 
state for a man in general." Cotton said: "Marriage, 
rightly understood, gives the tender and the good a 
paradise below." Bunyan said : "My wife is the plain 
man's path to heaven." Bismarck said: "My wife 
has made me what I am." Burke said : " Every care 
vanishes the moment I enter my wife's presence." 
Burton said : " A true wife will increase thy prosperity, 
double thy happiness, drive away thy melancholy, share 
thy burdens, and welcome thee home." Coleridge 
said: "No being so wretched as an old bachelor; no 
soul having a common interest, and no soul to share 
sorrows and pleasures." Flaxman, Scott, Hamilton, 
Logan, Carlyle, and scores of other famous men, at- 
tribute much of their success to their wives. 

Neither men nor women are complete until they 
marry. They are requisite to each other's complete- 


ness and happiness. Each finds a likeness in the other. 
Each makes up what the other lacks. The man is 
muscular, the woman is sensitive. The man is strong, 
the woman is delicate. " Man excels in brain power, 
the woman in love power. " The man is intelligent, 
the woman is sympathetic. Man does man's work, 
the woman does woman's work. Man protects the 
woman, and woman encourages the man. Man supports 
the woman, and the woman cherishes the man. 

" As unto the bow the cord is, 

So unto the man is woman. 

Though she bends him, she obeys him, 

Though she draws him, yet she follows. 

Useless each without the other." 

There is too much joking about marriage, and not 
sufficient calm consideration. There are too many- 
jokes, puns, and hints upon this sacred subject, and 
not half enough common sense and knowledge. Many- 
bad marriages are the result o r bad courtships. Court- 
ship is right and honorable. Instead of being properly 
considered, it is too frequently made a period of sighing, 
dreaming, shining, pleasing, smiling, and captivating. 
Courtship is the time to study the real character. It 
is the time to present things as they are, and not in 
an assumed light. It is the time to be earnest, and to 
avoid pretension. It is the time to be honest and 
truthful. It is the time to consider the past, present, 
and the future. It is the time to compare notions, 
opinions, beliefs, and sentiments upon all the grave 
and serious questions of life ; the time to study con- 
cord, harmony, happiness, and congeniality. It is the 
time to deliberately search for companionship. It is 
the time to consider each other's fitness for marriage — 


the education, expectation, financial condition, health, 
etc. It is the time to consider the rules and reg-ula- 
tions, laws and privileges of married life. There is 
much time and study given to the securing of an educa- 
tion, and the qualification for business ; why not, then, 
devote time and study before entering in the sacred 
ties of matrimony ? Marriage is either a blessing or a 
curse. It is a start upward or downward. It is an 
entrance into sweetness or bitterness. An unhappy 
marriage stings like an adder, and bites like a serpent. 
Its pathway bristles with thorns. A happy marriage 
is a picture of beauty, a paradise of love, a joy forever, 
and the gateway to heaven. " Here soul meets soul, 
face to face." Propensities, desires, inclinations, pas- 
sions, aspirations, capacities, and powers stand up 
side by side, and press against each other, either to 
please or fret. Tastes, aims, reason, and love join in 
sweet and holy bonds, or jar in disagreeable contact. 
As man's joy and success depend to such a great 
extent upon his marriage, is it not important that he 
makes a calm, deliberate, and prayerful consideration 
before taking this step? Plutarch said that "we 
should eat a bushel of salt with a man before choosing 
him as a friend." What care, then, should be given 
to the choosing of one who is to be more than a friend — 
an associate, companion, friend and helpmate for life. 

We shall here give a few suggestions, which will 
aid young men and young women in deciding and set- 
tling this great question of marriage. There should be 


The proper age to marry depends wholly upon the 
character, capacity, and pursuit of the man, and the 


physical and intellectual development and fitness of the 
woman. When people marry too young, "it looks 
like one sweet-pea trying to prop up another." The 
judgment should be mature. The business should be 
chosen, and the income should be sufficient to sustain, 
before the marriage contract is made. These things 
take place sometimes at twenty-one, sometimes at 
twenty-four, sometimes at thirty, and sometimes never. 
There should be such a harmony in the age, that one 
would not be compelled to hesitate as to whether she 
was the daughter, grand-daughter, or wife. It is sel- 
dom that a young man and old woman, or young 
woman and old man, can be happily married. The one 
is young, and the other is old. The one desires pleas- 
ure, the other desires rest. The one is ambitious, the 
other has the youthful ambition satisfied. The one 
wants to go about, and the other wants to stay at 
home. The one is buoyant and active, the other quiet 
and inactive. The one looks forward, and the other 
backward. The one is forming the character, the other 
has the habits and character formed. With such a 
difference in the tastes, desires, etc., there can be but 
little congeniality, harmony, and love. Their hearts 
can not beat to one time in joy, in hope, in pleasure, 
in work, and in sympathy. 


These are desirable traits. They do not mean slen- 
der waists, graceful forms, powdered faces, and gay 
plumage. Neatness means the properly arranged toilet, 
a place for everything, and everything in its place, and 
everything decent and in order. There are many who 


are very neat and particular. Such should not join 
with those who are careless and slouchy. Cleanliness 
is necessary to keep up a healthy perspiration, to aid 
the lungs in their respiration, and to throw off the 
poisonous matter from the body. To be cleanly is to 
be averse to slattern habits, and filthiness of person, 
and dirt in the house. Along with cleanliness go a 
likeness to purity, and chastity, and refinement of 
mind. A cleanly person should never marry a dirty 
person. If soiled linen, filthy garments, uncleansed 
teeth, and tobacco-juice in the corner of the mouth are 
revolting to any one, they should avoid wedding any 
one who tolerates such uncleanness. 


If your temperament is refined and sensitive, by all 
means avoid that which is harsh and coarse. If you have 
considerable temper, select for a companion one of less 
temper. Extremes in the same direction should always 
be avoided. Two persons of very red hair should not 
wed. Two persons of delicate constitutions should not 
wed. To bring about physical harmony, opposites 
should sometimes wed, but oftener those of correspond- 
ing strength of body, size in body, sameness in com- 
plexion, etc., are well mated. 


Those of equal standing in society, those whose 
parents and friends are of about equal standing, are 
well matched in this respect. When this is the case, 
the respect on both sides is equally commanding; both 
can move with the same grace in society, each is proud 


of introducing the other, and each commands the other's 


One who is warm in heart should never wed one 
who is cold and indifferent. " Love is woman's whole 
existence, while of man it is a thing apart." Love will 
cover a multitude of faults. In it there is forbearance 
and forgiveness. Home, friends, companions, pur- 
suits, and pleasures are equally loved, if there is 
harmony in their affections. Samson had a purpose 
in view, to the serving of Israel and the Lord. His 
companion, Delilah, instead of loving the purpose of 
Samson, loved the Philistines, and betrayed Samson 
into their hands. 


It is foolish for a wise woman to marry an ignoramus. 
It is suicidal to happiness for a genius to wed a ninny; 
for a philosopher to marry a blockhead; and for one 
of literary attainments to unite life's interest with a 
simpleton. Intellectual happiness is solid and endur- 
ing. Those who love books should be sure that their 
companions love them. Abigail was a woman of good 
understanding ; her husband, Nabal, was a currish man. 
He had not knowledge enough to accommodate David's 
servants, or to serve the Lord. Shakespeare and Milton 
were unhappy in their marriages, because of their 
superior intellectual endowments. Those engaged in 
professions want companions who can enjoy, sympa- 
thize, and study with them. 



In this respect do not unequally yoke together. 
Avoid uniting with one of no belief, or of an opposite 
belief. This grave mistake has frequently caused much 
unhappiness. , It is frequently proved to be detrimental 
to the growth of grace in the family, and injurious to 
the moral training of the children. Solomon's wives 
worshiped idols. They dragged Solomon down, made 
him rebellious and neglectful of God, and led him to 
the worshiping of the gods of the groves. Religious 
harmony promotes morality and virtue. In the begin- 
ning, young people may care little for religion, but the 
hour will come when it will stand first. Hundreds and 
hundreds of men and women are having their married 
life marred because of their religious disagreements. 
It is sad to think of the divisions of Christians, yet 
these exist, and to avoid any unhappiness it is wisdom to 
agree upon this subject. Then the same church will 
be attended, and there will be a religious influence 
thrown around the children. Religion is the pilot 
across the sea. It is the key to the man's nature. It 
is comfort in sorrow and hope in despondency. Agree- 
ment in this is essential to the highest happiness, the 
purity of the mind, the virtue of the heart, and the 
peace of the family. Thus we see the necessity of 
having harmony in age, in neatness, in cleanliness, in 
physical temperament, in social position, in the affec- 
tions, in intellect, and in religion. 

We shall next consider the position held by a young 
man in the selection of a wife. Before a young man 
can make any wise selection of a companion, he must 
know himself, and for what purpose he wants a help- 


mate. He should study his nature, his habits, his 
taste, his aims in life, his desires, his business, his 
standing, his religion, etc., etc. He should then study 
women, and search for one who would be a congenial 
companion, well-fitted and suitably adapted to him. 
Does he want a companion for a drudge, for passion, 
for a slave, or for a true and affectionate heipmate ? 


External beauty, without the internal, is shallow 
and transient. God loves beauty. He made this earth, 
and covered it with beauty. He decked it with grass, 
flowers, and trees. He traversed it with rivers and 
mountain-chains, and surrounded the land with seas. 
He hung over it the tapestry of the heavens. He loves 
beauty in woman But the beauty which he most ad- 
mires is the inner beauty ; the beauty that never fides 
or grows old. Just as certainly as beauty of a land- 
scape, seen often, becomes commonplace, so does the 
beauty of a face, if it lacks a loving heart behind it. 
No matter how powerful the personal attractions, they 
have but little to do with happiness during the after 
life. There is a beauty of heart in the way of joy, 
cheerfulness, sympathy, gentleness, and love, which 
improves with age and ripens with time. 

" What care I how fair she be, 
If she be not fair to me ? " 


Fretting before marriage develops into fault-finding 
after marriage. Whining before marriage develops into 
complaining after marriage. Love-spats before mar- 
riage develop into quarrels after marriage. Beware of 
selecting a woman who will cloud your life with storms, 


and make your married life a voyage over a tempest- 
uous sea. " Better dwell in the wilderness, than with 
a contentious and angry woman." 


It is a great failing to be always ailing. Physical 
impairment renders one unfit for mamage. Those 
whose hereditary tendencies are bad should be avoid- 
ed. They may have many charms, but they are not 
physically fitted to become wives and mothers. Weak- 
brained, weak-nerved, and weak-bodied people had 
better remain single. If you wed a delicate person, 
look out for doctor-bills, poverty, and trouble. Good 
lungs, good digestion, good walking, and good spirits 
are fair indications of good health. Select one who 
possesses these qualifications. 


There is a reasonable fashionableness to which we 
all can conform. The Lord has given a fashion to the 
dewdrop, the rose, and the lily, but this fashion is ever 
the same. Beware of the woman who pays more heed 
to her millinery charms than to her mental charms; to 
the plumage in dress than to the plumage of the heart. 
There is a neatness and tidiness in dress that is com- 
mendable and praiseworthy, but the excess in fashion, 
the changing as the fashion changes, the spending of 
time and money to keep up with the fashion should be 
rigidly avoided. Such people generally have but little 
jewelry in the heart, and but few charms in the mind. 
In the hour of sorrow there will never be a word of 
condolence derived from a fashionable wardrobe. In 
the hour of adversity the voice of hope never arises 


from the petty follies of fashion. Therefore, avoid 
fashionable women, unless you are able, and desire, to 
support the best coach in the community, the most 
elaborate wardrobe, the richest carpets, the most ele- 
gant furniture, the finest brown-stone front, a luxurious 
table, and several experienced servants. 

Do not marry a child, because a child-wife can only 
be pitied, and not loved. Do not marry for spite, be- 
cause spite recoils upon him who harbors it. Do not 
marry for passion, because that always ends in disap- 
pointment. Do not marry merely to please a friend, 
because in so doing you fail to please yourself. Do 
not marry a novel-reader, for such women are always 
yearning for their husbands to be like the husbands in 
the novels. Do not marry an idle woman, for that 
will annoy you with a dirty home. Do not marry a 
spendthrift, if you desire to have a competency in old 
age. Do not marry a coquette, or your love may be 
disappointed in seeing her flirt with another. 


When the merchant employs a manager for his 
store, he secures the services of an experienced man. 
When directors employ a teacher, they want one who 
has some knowledge of teaching; and when a man 
wants a wife, he wants one who understands how to 
adorn a home, and keep the house in taste. She may 
never be called upon to cook, bake, wash, and iron, 
but in order to successfully direct another, she must 
know how these things should be done. It is better 
to know how to do the necessary work in the house 
than to be able to speak French and German, and not 


understand housekeeping. The languages are all right 
in their place, but no girl should think of marrying 
until she first understands housekeeping. Better know 
how to make and mend useful garments than to be able 
to play on the piano. To be able to play the piano is 
commendable, yet to be able to understand how to 
make a neatly-fitting garment will be of far more 
service in after years. 


She should love her home more than she loves the 
theater, the excursion, the picnic, and the ball-room. 
She should prefer it to useless gadding on the street. 
There is no objection to young ladies loving innocent 
pleasure and amusement, but these things should be 
secondary to the love for the home. One who loves 
the mother, and aids her in her work ; one who Loves 
the brother, and aids in keeping him neat in dress and 
moral in character ; and one who loves the church, and 
does her part in advancing its cause ; one who loves 
the poor, and makes sacrifices to help them, should be 
considered with favor. 


Search for beauty that never fades, cheerfulness 
which never grows old, the companion who will never 
forsake, the virtue that will be a crown to the husband, 
the prudence that is from the Lord, and the love that 
is stronger than death. Search for congenial and 
agreeable companionship — congenial and agreeable in 
taste, thought, enjoyment, and purpose. Search for 
one who will suffer, confide, bear, and enjoy with you ; 
and, when you find such a one, 


'* Do not pause in indecision, 
When the bright angel in thy vision 
Welcomes thee to fields elysian." 

When you find such a one, make the proposal, and do 
not be seen like the young man who dropped the pro- 
posal in the letter-box, and was afterwards seen with a 
wire, trying to extract it. 

Let us consider the side of the young lady, as 
regards whose hand and heart she shall accept. She 
occupies a different position from the young man. He 
does the proposing : she does the accepting or refus- 
ing. By her position and advantages, by her charms 
and qualifications, by her graces and virtues, she can 
do much in winning to her side a congenial companion. 
Lasting sorrow or lasting felicity come along with her 

" As the husband, so the wife is ; 
Thou art mated with a clown; 
The grossness of his nature 

Will have weight to drag thee down." 

The old Scotchman said to his daughter who was 
asking for his consent to her accepting the hand of a 
certain young man: " Jeanie, Jeanie, it is a very sol- 
emn thing to get married." Jeanie replied : "I know 
that, father ; but it is a great deal solemner not to get 

As to the proper age, that depends upon the fitness 
of the young lady. In Greece, Portugal, and Switzer. 
land, women marry at the age of twelve ; in Austria and 
Germany, at the" age of fourteen ; in Belgium, Hun- 
gary, and France, at the age of fifteen ; in Saxony and 
Russia, at the age of sixteen ; in the United States, at any 
age— some young, some younger ; some old, some older. 


Of those who marry, 18 per cent, are married before 
the age of twenty; 15 per cent, between the ages of 
twenty and twenty-five, and 30 per cent, after the age 
of twenty-five. Only five ladies in one hundred are 
married at the age of thirty-five, and this leads me to 
remark : 


There is no dishonor in being an old maid. While 
no poet may have sung their glory, nor artist made 
them his subject, nor author made it his theme, yet it 
is the notorious fact that two-thirds of the women who 
have figured in the pages of history, have been old 
maids. Among their sex they have become great as 
poets, as philanthropists, as artists, and as teachers. 
They have gone everywhere as missionaries, minister- 
ing spirits, and angels of mercy. They have carried 
light into many a dark home, sunshine into many a sad 
heart, and silver lining to the despairing. Better a 
thousand times be an old maid than to be unhappily 
married. Better be a happy and honorable old maid 
than to be the slave of a brute, the drudge of a villain, 
the servant of a miser, or the broken-hearted wife of a 


A close-fisted man would always stint you, and a 
niggardly husband would give to you whiningly and 
grudgingly. A miser would compel you to abridge 
your expenses, to deny all pleasures which would cost 
a little money, to make unnecessary sacrifices in the 
home, and to refuse the giving of charity to all good 



He who trifles with the affection is a thief, taking that 
which is not his, and a murderer, sapping the life- 
blood of the heart. Coxcombs have but little honor 
and respectability. There is nothing of dignity about 
them, and nothing in them to demand the respect of 
sober-minded people. Dudes and fops can strut and 
make a show, but they lack in real merit. They are 
known by their gait, and by being a laughing-stock for 
children. They can flatter, bow with grace, and pre- 
sent a showy exterior; but behind all this there is 
fickleness, weakness, and lack of force and virtue in 


If an idle man tempts the devil, would he not tempt 
a wife ? Lazy men make a poor support for compan- 
ions. They struggle through life and do but little 
good. No matter how much money a man has, he can 
not afford to be idle. Idle men are always complain- 
ing that things are going wrong. They are always un- 
happy, in poverty, or on the road to poverty. 


Know the man. Know his motives, reputation, 
business, religion, character, etc. If not, you may 
jump into the fire with your eyes wide open. 

" Venture slowly, if you would have pleasure ; 
Married in haste, you may repent at leisure." 


Better have a man without riches, than riches with- 
out the man. Better to have a cottage with purity 


and love, than a mansion with blasted hopes. Many 
a woman has married for money and ambition, who 
was satisfied, and with the satisfaction came trouble 
and regret. 

" In a marriage for gold 
The bride is bought, and the bridegroom sold." 


Gamblers, liars, thieves, spendthrifts, profane, li- 
centious, and drunken men, should be avoided. Never 
trust them. No matter what their social advantages and 
financial conditions, wed them not, for you will regret 
it. Hundreds of women have married such men, with 
a view to reforming them, and instead of being able to 
reform them, their lives were filled with sorrow, 
shame, and misery. Think of the sad and bitter 
lot of the wives of the immoral men of our country. 
If a man is a gambler, he is always in danger of arrest. 
If he is a tippler, he is on the road to ruin. If he is a thief, 
he is in danger of death. If he is unchaste, he is 
always seeking bad company. If he is a profane man, 
the love of God is not in his heart. 

" He led her down from love and light, 
From all that made her pathway bright ; 
And chained her there 'mid want and strife, 
That feeble thing, the drunkard's wife." 


This is essential to all virtuous characters. If he is 
honest no one can steal his reputation. He will pay 
his debts, and command the respect of his acquaint- 
ances, and have friends in time of trouble. 



He should have some business in which he could 
maintain himself and family. It is a grave mistake to 
launch the boat without being able to pilot it. The 
industrious man will descend to no meanness to make 
a livelihood. The man of industry will always be prov- 
ident for the future, and is generally a good husband 
and an affectionate father. He keeps want away from 
the door, flour in the barrel, provisions in the pantry, 
and coal in the shed. 


He should conduct himself like a man, the son of 
God, and one who loves his mother ; who is consider- 
ate to his sister, obedient to his father, and kind to 
his friends. He should be a man of noble purpose, of 
good reputation, and of pure character. ' Such a man 
wants a wife not for a drudge, slave, or convenience, 
but for sweet companionship and helpful association. 


Do not accept the hand of an infidel, or his influ- 
ence may lead you to scoff at God and scorn the only 
salvation for men. He should have reverence for God 
and love for the true, the good, the useful, and the 
beautiful. He should have love for all mankind, and 
especially a heart beaming with love for the woman 
whom he selects for his companion. But 

" Shall we ever, ever meet, 
Shall I find in one my sweet 
Visions true and life complete ? " 

Yes, that one is saying — 


" Shall we ever, ever meet ? 

Somewhere in the world must be 
She that I have prayed to see, 
She that love assigned to me." 

Make this whole subject a matter for thoughtful 
consideration and prayer. Then go along in life attend- 
ing to the duties which are round about you, endeav- 
oring to accomplish all the good you can, and the Lord 
will do that which seemeth good in his sight. 

After marriage it is as hard to retain the love as it 
was to win it. Happiness must be worked for. Domes- 
tic felicity is earned only by patience, by endurance, by 
forbearance, and loving consideration. It requires lib- 
eral compromises, numerous sacrifices, forgiveness of 
many faults, the bearing of divers burdens, the con- 
cealing ol jars, the unheeding of criticisms of pretended 
friends, and the avoiding of all disputes and jealousies. 

As to the duties of the wife, we are told by high 
authority, that they should have the ornament of a 
meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of 
great price. 

They should be chaste in conversation, avoiding all 
communication which corrupt morals and manners. 
They should be sober, yet not sullen ; cheerful, yet 
not silly. They should have the soberness of an 
earnest life, filled up with earnest purposes. They should 
be discreet, not boisterous, but meek. Discreet in im- 
proving their minds, in promoting the interests of their 
husbands, and in devising ways of increasing their love. 
They should be good, good in thought, word, and 
deed ; like Jesus, who went about doing good ; like 
Dorcas, who was known for her good works. They 
should be obedient to their husbands, as the church is 


obedient to Christ ; not a slavish obedience, but a lov- 
ing subjection, and an affectionate following. They 
should be keepers at home. Avoid gadding about ; 
keeping the home clean, neat, and in order, attending 
to the duties of the house as well as to the duties of 
intellect and soul. 

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according 
to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife. Dwell with 
them, not absent from them. How can a man expect 
to retain the love of his wife, and be unnecessarily ab- 
sent from her every evening of the week ? Dwell with 
her according to knowledge, not according to lust, as 
the brutes; not according to servitude, as a master; 
but according to the knowledge of your duty and your 
position, according to the knowledge of the Scripture, 
according to the knowledge of her being a tender and 
finer person. If you will dwell with her. according to 
knowledge, you will seek her pleasure, rejoice with 
her, and arrange to promote her comfort and happi- 


Do not dishonor her by your conduct and words. 
Give her the honor of esteem — esteem above all 
others. Give to her the honor of confidence, confiding 
your secrets to her. Give to her the honor of praise — 
speaking well of her when she deserves it. Give her 
the honor of maintainence — supporting her in sickness 
and in health. Give her the honor of benevolence — 
enabling her to do works of charity. Give her the 
honor of sympathy — helping her to bear the many lit- 
tle burdens connected with her duties. Give her the 
honor of politeness, courtesy, and gentleness. Do not 


drop these as soon as marriage is over. Your position 
does not give you this privilege. You should be as 
tasty in dress, as particular in toilet and appearance 
after marriage as before. You should beg her to ex- 
cuse you for any little discourtesy, just the same as you 
would any other woman. Give her the honor of love; 
as Christ loved the church, so must you love your wife. 
This to her is the summer of the year. It will pay 
you a thousand per cent. It will preserve and increase 
her love for you. The love should be mutual. Love 
is the sun of life. It is the flowers along the walk. It 
is like the songs of birds in the spring morning. It 
cheers and reanimates for every duty. If you love, 
you will be able to bear all burdens ; impossibilities 
will fly away; your undertakings will be accomplished; 
you lives will be filled with joy and success ; and, 
when adversity and affliction come, there will be a 
source of comfort, unfailing, derived from love, and 
when the grave shall close over one oi the twain, the life 
will be filled with happy and fond recollections, and there 
will be a hopeful looking forward to the glad welcome 
in the presence of Christ on the golden shores of 



Great men and women have purposes in life. They 
set objects before themselves to be accomplished, and 
then they work to them. They aim high, even if they 
fall short. They study, think, and work with some noble 
end in view. Life to them is worth living. They 
benefit humanity and serve God. A man without a 
purpose is like a ship sailing without a destination, in- 
different as regards starting, speed and landing. A 
man with a purpose is like a steamer in full sail, under 
heavy power, with a full cargo, prompt in starting, rapid 
in sailing, direct in course, with every man at his post, 
and a destination to be reached. A man with one or 
more earnest and noble purposes to be effected moves 
with determination, properly taxes his nerve forces, 
worthily utilizes his electricity, drives straight ahead, 
imparts sunshine and hope to all around him. The 
man of purpose is like a traveler with an object in 
view ; time passes rapidly, and he is happy ; but with 
no object in view time drags slowly, and he is restless. 
In starting in life every young man and woman 
should set out to effect some worthy purpose. They 
should stamp on their minds and engrave on their 
hearts some grand and glorious aims and objects to be 
accomplished while on earth. There are some aims, 
objects, and purposes in life which should be purposed, 
pursued, and accomplished. 

r /i 



// should be the purpose of all to build up a good 
character; a character known for honesty, temper- 
ance, truthfulness, frugality and benevolence. In 
the sight of men, angels, and God, character is al- 
ways of first importance. Manliness of character 
should be set ; and from it no one should ever 
swerve. If the character is kept clean and pure, every 
man and woman can be squarely faced, and every ob- 
stacle can be successfully met. No need of running 
away from a good character ; it will always baffle lies 
and defy unjust criticism and attacks ; it will always 
stand as a monument of truth and right ; and it will 
always draw to it sufficient friends for every emer- 

// should be the purpose of every one to choose, pursue, 
and master some honorable profession or business. God 
pity the man with nothing to do. Every one should 
have a work to do. No hope, no joy, no buoyancy of 
spirit without something to do. A calling chosen, and 
then a fixed determination to study it, to shine in it, 
to live in it, and to succeed in it. 

Mental and spiritual growth is a purpose which should 
be kept constantly in view. This growth will keep a 
man above the dust of life ; it will exalt his soul ; it 
will keep him from despondency ; it will give him high 
hopes. This growth in knowledge of books, things, 
men and places, this growth in grace and truth will 
keep a stream of cheerfulness, hope, goodness and 
love, ever flowing into and out of his life. 

It should be the purpose of all to do good. This is 
a worthy purpose which should be kept in view, and 
always in view. To serve humanity, to do good to 
all, to entertain feelings of kindness toward all, from 


the meanest to the noblest, from the poorest to the 
richest, is an important duty as well as a worthy pur- 
pose. The world does not care for what it gives to 
you, but for what you give to it ; it cares not how 
much good it does to you, but how much good you do 
to it. Men care not for what you receive from papers, 
books, schools, churches, business, society, and gov- 
ernment, but for the noble thoughts, useful sentiments, 
and acts of love which you give to them. To serve 
men is the practical way to serve God. To do good 
is pure religion. 

If sufficient talent and genius be possessed, man 
should entertain the purpose of giving to the world 
some useful invention, some book of practical wisdom, 
or some scheme of better government. This is a 
noble purpose, a worthy object, and an important 
aim. It is far better to consecrate the genius for some 
such work than to fritter away the talents on trifling 
affairs, and to die in regret, saying, as did a man of wast- 
ed talents, ' ' I have spent my life laboring with trifles. " 

If sufficient wealth be possessed, a noble end at 
which to look at is, to endow a chair in a college, to 
build an asylum, a college, a church, an orphans' 
home, or something of this sort. This is a purpose 
worthy of the most strenuous effort, and the work of 
life. If rich men would live for such purposes, the whole 
world would soon be born again, their names perpetu- 
ated, society blessed, God honored, and their poster- 
ity much more greatly blessed than if they bequeathed 
to them hundreds of thousands. Much wealth given 
to children does more to ruin than to bless them, 
whereas wealth given to charitable purposes blesses 
hundreds and thousands. 


The foregoing are some of the noble purposes which 
men should have in view. It is folly to try to be 
happy without an object in view. There can be no 
incentive to action, combined action, without some 
worthy and fixed purpose. With a purpose once 
fixed, the question arises, How can it be effected ? 
How can my objects be accomplished, my projects be 
executed, my enterprises achieved, my aims attained, 
and my end be reached ? No one should undertake 
what he is incompetent to do. No one should give 
up a worthy undertaking because of the arduous labor 
needed to complete it. No one should pursue a plan 
which affords no prospects of effecting what is de- 
served. The main secret of success in the pursuit of 
an object is firmness. 


Thus did Napoleon direct one of his major gener- 
als who stood in the midst of the hottest fire from the 
enemy. "Be ye steadfast and immovable." Such 
were the directions the courageous apostle gave to the 
troubled church in Corinth. "Be thou strong and very 
courageous?" said the Lord to Joshua, when he chose 
him as Moses' successor to lead the children of Israel. 

Let not the world move you from your purposes. The 
world is full of attractions, it invites and allures, it 
offers its charms and promises, it tempts and ensnares, 
it would turn you backward and engulf you, it entices 
to dishonesty, and then betrays its victim ; but in the on- 
ward course, in the pursuit of purpose, let not the world 
move you. It was the attractions of the world which 
turned Lot's wife to a pillar of salt, and deposed Saul 
from the throne. Its splendors and dazzling wealth 


instigate men to lie, to steal, to murder. Move on ! 
Stand firm against them all ! 

Let not honors move yoti. Honors are attractive. 
Justly gained and won, like riches, they are not to be 
despised. For praises, flatteries, laurels and honors, 
never turn aside. For honor, Alexander told the 
heathens of Africa that he was a god ; for honor, did 
Cassius instigate Brutus to kill Caesar; for honor, 
Caesar fought against Pompey. For worldly honors 
which gave no satisfaction, wars have waged and 
thrones have crumbled. For worldly honors which 
should be rejected with scorn, men have sacrificed 
hard-earned wealth, friends, honesty, and comfort. 
Against all these false and vain glories stand immova- 
ble and invulnerable as a rock. Yield, and you will 
disgust yourself, men, and God. 

Let not poverty move you. Stem the tide and time of 
poverty. Stand up under it, though it is inconvenient 
and hard to bear. You will want, but suffer want. 
You will suffer delays, but do not give up your pur- 
poses. Seventy-five per cent, of the world's greatest 
men began life in poverty, and toiled on in poverty. 
Thousands have yielded to poverty, and have gone 
disappointed to the grave. Overcome poverty by 
hard work, honesty and economy. Never give up a 
purpose which is worthy of being effected, if there 
is the least chance of attaining it. 

Let not prosperity move you. Pass right on through 
prosperity. Learn to "abound and to suffer want. " 
Harder to drink from the cup when brim full than when 
only half full. Some one said, "The tallest tree is 
first struck by lightning." Against prosperity the 
men pitch their tent and the thief prepares his instru- 


ments. Be firm and resolute in purpose, though pros- 
perous. Thousands have shriveled up and sunk be- 
neath prosperity. Thousands have become proud, 
forgetful and ungenerous, as their prosperity increased. 
Better never be prosperous than to be mean along with 
it. As you go up do not spurn the steps by which you 
rise. Great men are kinder in their greatness than they 
were in their obscurity. 

Stand firm and be immovable under fat hires. No harm 
in failing. The harm comes in stopping effort. The 
boy in learning to skate blunders, staggers and falls, 
but bravely he gets up and tries it again and again 
until he is able to glide gracefully and rapidly over the 
ice. Some of the greatest generals have been de- 
feated; some of the best authors have written poor 
plays. The storms, billows, and waves make the good 
mariner. Profit by failures ; turn them into success. 
Study the cause of the failure, then avoid it in the 
future. If you run the bark on the sand, back off, 
and start out in deeper water. Never give up be- 
cause you make a failure. "The gods look on no 
grander object than an honest man toiling under ad- 
versity. " 

Be firm and immovable under afflictions. If you lose 
health, strive to regain it ; if you lose wealth, work on 
and you will get it back ; if you lose a dear friend, and 
you will, it will try you hard, but be unswerving in 
purpose. You will have but few enemies. If you are 
true to noble objects there are but few who will wil- 
fully do anything to injure you. People may talk, yet 
that never hurts an honest soul. Some great men have 
been persecuted ; Paul, Luther, Arkwright and Stephen- 
son were persecuted, but they moved on. In spite of 


abuse, ridicule and persecution, be determined, firm, 
and courageous, and you will achieve your undertak- 
ing. Death will arrest some of your purposes, but 
they will be caught up and carried on by others. If 
you do your utmost through life, working toward 
great and good ends, you need not fear death. If 
you have been a faithful servant of humanity and God, 
your work will live after you, and your good deeds will 
be recorded in heaven, where there will be a higher 
and more glorious work for you to do. Among great 
men of purpose the name of Columbus is stamped in 
history : he believed the world was round ; he pro- 
posed sailing westward till he struck a western 
bank ; laughter, failure, dangers, poverty and even 
power were against him, yet he tried and tried till he 
found the generous hand who helped in executing his 

Robert Fulton resolved to build a steamboat. The 
first one sank in the river Seine before it was completed ; 
it was a great shock to him, yet he was determined 
and firm. The next steamboat which he built was 
advertized to sail on a certain day ; hundreds assem- 
bled to laugh at "Fulton's folly" and to shout in de- 
rision at the ingenious inventor ; but when the hour 
arrived the boat moved off from the wharf, and was a 
success from the start. 

In the year 1810, Peter Cooper was a youth labor- 
ing in New York City as an apprentice for twenty-five a year and board. He sought a night school, 
in which he could obtain more education. Not one in 
the city. He formed a purpose of establishing such a 
school. He labored for forty years, first as a grocer, 
then as a manufacturer, before he attained his purpose. 


On the famous Bowery stands the more famous ' ' Cooper 
Institute," where thousands of people have been in- 
structed in science, and have communed with the 
great minds of literature. 

Mr. Cooper had a purpose, and he worked to it. 
Every man should have one or more purposes in life, 
and should study himself, and study means that he 
may effect his purposes and execute his projects. Per- 
severance, spirit, and firmness will always win, though 
years pass away before the end is attained. 

Napoleon was a man of purpose. He resolved to 
scale the Alps and march into Rome. "But," said 
a friend, " the Alps are impassable." Napoleon re- 
sponded, "There shall be no Alps." He marched 
over the Alps and entered the city of the Caesars. 

Paul was set on going to Jerusalem, but his warm- 
est friends knew the dangers awaiting him there from 
the persecuting Jews, and so they endeavored to per- 
suade him not to go up to Jerusalem. They prayed 
and wept and fell on his neck, beseeching him not to go 
up to the once holy city. One of the number, a 
prophet, foretold the dangers ahead. Notwithstanding 
all this, Paul said, Though bonds and afflictions await 
me, "none of these things do move me." In the 
face of strifes, poverty, imprisonment, shipwreck, 
howling mobs and death, he stood immovable to his 
purpose, and at last finished his course with joy. And 
thus great purposes are achieved by braving dangers, 
encountering difficulties, and pressing right onward, 
turning neither to the right nor the left. 

Let the thunders bellow, let the lightning glance, 
let the earth quake, let the stars fall, let thrones decay, 
let empires perish, let insurrections arise, let wars wage, 


let dangers arise from without and within, but stand 
firm to your purpose and true to your calling. Let 
your mind, conversation, talents and energies be bent 
on doing what you should do, and you will do more, 
far more, than you set out to do, and you will die 
blessed by men and God- 




There are many people who despise small begin- 
nings. They desire to do great things, to stand in 
high places, to occupy important positions, and to 
accomplish great undertakings, but they are not willing 
to give the patience, the toil, the perseverance, and 
the time necessary to attain the purpose in view. There 
are many who would like to do great things like 
Luther, Wesley, Calvin, Edison, Lee, and Washing- 
ton, but they are not willing to study, labor, and suffer 
as did these great men. Every man and woman who 
will cherish the small beginnings in life, and care for 
the small things, will accomplish some great and good 
work in the end. It is our purpose to urge upon 
young men "and women to be patient and careful in 
regard to the small beginnings in life, and to despise 
them not, but to cherish them until they have become 
great endings, and have produced important results. 

Nature does not despise the day of small begin- 
nings. She cherishes them. Some of the mightiest 
rivers can be stepped, at their sources, by a child. 
Some of the mammoth trees in California, which are 
thirty feet in diameter, one hundred feet in circumfer- 
ence, and from one hundred to three hundred feet in 
height, covered with the mosses of from ten to twenty 
centuries, were once little saplings- — small plants, which 


could have been crushed between the thumb and finger. 
The monarch oak, under which the cattle low and 
graze, was once a little acorn, which could have been 
carried by a sparrow. 

•'Little drops of water, 
Little grains of sand, 
Make the mighty ocean, 
And the pleasant land." 

The farmer does not despise the day of small begin, 
nings. He carefully looks after the small duties and 
numerous details which are connected with farming. 
He sows the grain, watches its progress, and patiently 
waits for the harvest. He plants the little trees, cares 
for them, prunes them, watches their development, and 
patiently waits for the bringing forth of fruit. One 
after another, he fells the forest trees, until acres are 
made ready for cultivation. He appreciates the fact 
that it takes time, patience, perseverance, and hard 
work to till the soil, that it may bring forth the grains, 
vegetables, and fruits in their season. 

Inventors do not despise the day of small begin- 
nings. The greatest invention was once a mere thought 
in the mind. Richard Arkwright was the inventor and 
manufacturer of the cotton loom. He began life in 
poverty and obscurity. He studied and labored for 
years before success dawned upon him. He worked as 
a barber, and saved sufficient money to erect the first 
cotton loom. When it was completed and set to 
work, the laborers fell upon it, pulled it to pieces, 
denounced Arkwright as an enemy of mankind, and 
drove him out of the city. Again he took up the 
razor, and labored for months in the midst of trials and 
discouragements. By practicing economy, he at last 


had sufficient money with which to erect another mill. 
The world to-day has hundreds of cotton mills, which 
have woven millions of yards of cloth, as a result of 
Arkwright' s invention. William Lee, the inventor of 
the stocking loom, began his life in poverty. Sitting 
beside his faithful wife, watching the motion of her 
fingers as she was knitting, he conceived the idea of 
inventing a machine to imitate their motion. He 
labored for three years, through trials and hardships, 
before he gave it to the world. When Watt was a boy, 
in playing with a pair of tongs, he placed them over 
the spout of the teakettle, and thus discovered the 
power of steam in lifting the lid. He studied and la- 
bored for many years before he succeeded in condens- 
ing steam so that it could be utilized. Stephenson 
spent thirty-two years in inventing and perfecting 
the steam engine. It took Howe a great many years 
to produce the sewing-machine. Thus it is that the 
greatest inventors which the world has produced have 
begun with the simple conception, and toiled through 
many trials and adversities, until they brought to per- 
fection their inventions. 

Literary men cherish the day of small beginnings. 
Behold Johnson learning the alphabet, Webster learn- 
ing to spell, Bacon learning to read, Milton studying 
poetry, Shakespeare reading Roman history, and Elihu 
Burritt studying the languages in the blacksmith shop. 
In after years, these men impress the products of their 
great minds upon the world, and stamp their names 
upon the pages of history, never to be erased. Nearly 
all the great literary lights of the world, which shine 
like brilliant stars, began life in an humble way. They 
cherished the small beginnings, added thought to 


thought, idea to idea, until their minds were stored 
with knowledge of the stars, of men, of places, books, 
plants, trees, the sea and what it contains, and from 
the fullness of their minds they have given to the world 
great books, which inspire men to deeds of honor. 

Business men do not despise the day of small begin- 
nings. Examine the history of one hundred of the 
wealthiest men of the United States, and you will find 
that eighty per cent, began life in poverty and obscur- 
ity. Vanderbilt, Peabody, Astor, Girard, Marshall, 
Cooper, Gould, Stanford, and Wanamaker, began life 
in humble walks. They walked the dirt road, before 
they walked the pavements ; they dwelt in cottages 
before they dwelt in mansions ; they counted their 
money by pennies before they counted it by millions. 
By caring for the small things, by looking after the 
details of their business, by patience, by honesty, by 
perseverance, and economy, they rose from poverty to 
wealth, from being day-laborers to bankers, merchant 
princes, railroad kings, and capitalists. 

The mother does not despise the day of small begin- 
nings. From the babe she rears the man. She takes 
the little child, in all its innocence and helplessness ; she 
watches over it, she prays over it, weeps over it, and 
cares for it until it is able to care for itself. She teaches 
the little thing to lisp the word " mother," she teaches it 
the names of its relatives and friends,, she teaches it 
that sweet little prayer : 

" Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep ; 
If I should die before I wake, 
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take. 
This I ask for Jesus' sake. Amen." 


And as the child's mind develops, she teaches it to 
grapple with the corresponding duties and problems of 
life. She never gives up. Is the little one sick, and 
doomed to death, she clings to it till it dies. Is the 
child incorrigible, she exerts might and main to bring 
it into obedience and the paths of virtue. 

The teacher does not despise the day of little things. 
Tens of thousands enter school without knowing 
the alphabet. The teacher does not grow impatient 
over the small beginnings, but letter after letter, name 
after name, and object after object, are drilled into the 
brain, until a foundation is laid for future learning, 
greatness, and influence. One after one the principles 
are taught upon which to build wide reputations 
and broad characters. Little by little the knowledge is 
gained which helps them to think consecutively and ac- 
curately, and helps them to solve the problems of life. 
Angels do not despise the day of small beginnings. 
They do not wait for the hosts of the Lord to march 
through the gates of the New Jerusalem before they 
sing the song of " Moses and the Lamb." They do 
not wait for the coronation day, when the Lamb shall 
come for the bride, before they rejoice. But we are 
told that there is joy in heaven, in the presence of the 
angels of God, over one sinner that repenteth. The 
most insignificant sinner who forsakes his sins and turns 
to God, sends joy through the mansions of heaven. 

Jesus Christ does not despise small beginnings. He 
was not ashamed to lie as a babe in the manger. Be- 
hold him laboring in obscurity as a carpenter. He was 
not ashamed to talk to the leper, to eat with publicans 
and sinners, and to praise the woman who dropped the 
mite into the alms-box. He embraced every oppor- 


tunity to do good. He taught by the wayside. He 
who had a name which is exalted high above every 
name, cherished small beginnings. Although he is in 
heaven, he hears the gentle knock at the door ; he 
hears every humble petition ; he hears the groan of every 
disciple, and he ministers to the wants of the feeblest 
saint. He has promised that he will not break the 
bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. He stands 
with outstretched arms, ready to receive the prodigal 
son on his return. He is still sympathizing with his 
people in all of their sorrows, and provides a way of 
escape from temptations. 

God 's people cherish the day of small beginnings. 
Solomon erected a magnificent temple, with magnifi- 
cent gates, vessels, courts, and porches. It was many 
years in building. It retained its pristine splendor for 
thirty-two years. It was then plundered, pillaged, and 
finally destroyed The Jews were carried away as 
captives to Babylon. The great temple lay in ruins 
for fifty-two years. Then God stirred up the heart of 
King Cyrus to issue a decree, prompting all who desired 
to go up to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. A few 
of the fathers and Levites began the work. Many of 
the Jews who were left in Chaldea would give them no 
assistance. The Samaritans derided them in the midst 
of their despondency and discouragement. They sorely 
wept. The old prophet came, and dissipated their 
fears. He said unto them: "Who hath despised the 
day of small things? Ye shall yet rejoice, and see the 
plummet in the hands of those who shall build the 
temple. " Notwithstanding their small beginnings, their 
many discouragements, the temple was completed and 
dedicated in twenty-one years. 


David did not despise the day of small things. A 
great battle was waged between the Philistines and Is- 
raelites. The Philistines arrayed their soldiers on one 
hill; the Israelites arrayed their soldiers, with Saul, 
head and shoulders above all their warriors. Every 
morning, for forty days, Goliath, of the Philistines, 
came out and defied the Israelites, saying, If you 
will send a man to fight against me, and he slay me, 
then will we be your servants ; but if I kill him, then 
you will be our servants. Saul, the king and com- 
mander of the Israelitish army, offered his daughter in 
marriage, great riches and liberties, unto the man who 
would slay Goliath. No one dared venture against him. 
They stood in fear and alarm. David, a mere lad, was 
at Bethlehem, attending his father's sheep. His father 
sent him down to the army, with some provisions and 
presents for his three brothers. On his arrival, he be- 
held the great army, and heard the giant defy the 
Israelites. He said: "Who is this uncircumcised 
Philistine, that he should defy the army of God? I 
will go forth and fight against him. " One after another, 
his brethren ridiculed him ; but he continued to assert 
his willingness to fight against Goliath. At last the 
news came to the ears of Saul. Saul sent for David. 
He told him that he was a mere boy, and that Goliath 
was a warrior from his youth. David told Saul that, 
while he was watching his father's sheep, a lion came 
and took a lamb, and that he rau and slew the lion. 
Another day a bear came to the flock, and when the 
bear lifted his paw against him, he slew it ; and he 
knew that God, who had delivered the lion and bear 
into his hands, would also deliver Goliath unto him. 
Saul gave him his coat of mail and his spear, but David 


would not go forth to fight in them, because he had 
not proved them. He chose to take his own sling, and 
five little pebbles out of the brook. He went forth to 
meet the giant. The hearts of the Israelites beat high 
with hope. The giant came forth to meet David. The 
hearts of the Philistines beat high with hope. The 
giant cried out to David : Am I a dog, that you come 
forth to fight against me with staves? I will slay thee 
this day, and give thy flesh to the fowls of the air. David 
answered : You come forth to fight me with a shield, and 
spear, and coat of mail ; but I go forth to fight you in 
the name of the Lord of Hosts, who will deliver thee 
this day into my hands. He placed a little stone in 
his sling; round, round went the sling, a whizz in the 
air, a thud in the distance, Goliath was struck in the 
forehead, he sank down to the earth. The shepherd 
soon stood upon him, and severed his head from his 
body. The Philistines were routed, and the Israelites 
gained a great victory. It was a small thing which did 
the work; a humble man who gained the victory. 
What encouragement this should be unto all who are 
working for the right against the wrong. Victory is 
theirs, if the favor, power, and wisdom of the Lord are 
with them. His favors are more to be desired than 
the favors of all worldly kings. His wisdom is more 
certain to guide aright than the wisdom of all the sages 
of the world. 

Should not Christian people be encouraged in the 
cause of Potestantism? Prior to the sixteenth cen- 
tury, all bowed down to the power of Rome. Luther 
was born. The lightning struck a tree, under which 
Luther and a schoolmate were standing; the school- 
mate was killed. This event turned Luther's atten- 


tion to the ministry. The sale of Papal indulgences 
and the abuses of Rome caused him to enter a ve- 
hement and earnest protest against Popery. It was 
a small beginning. Luther knew not where it would 
end. He knew not of the bloody wars which would 
ensue, the righteous blood which would be shed, and 
the extent to which Protestantism would grow. To-day 
there are over one hundred and sixteen millions of 
Protestants who tread the earth, and whose cause is 
extended from the rivers to the utmost parts of the 

Missionary workers should not despise the day of 
small beginnings. In the year 1800, Japan, China, 
India, Africa, and the isles of the sea were almost in 
total darkness in regard to Christianity. Scarcely was 
there a ray of light, scarcely a star of nope. One 
after another were missionaries sent into these heathen 
lands. At first they were scourged, imprisoned, and 
driven from one place to another; yet they kept on in 
their good work, feeding the hungry, clothing the 
naked, doctoring the sick, preaching the gospel of the 
kingdom of God unto all. To-day there are over six 
thousand missionaries and two millions of converts. 
Behold what great results and magnificent endings from 
small beginnings. Beyond the dark clouds of heathen- 
ism is a silver lining, which bids fair to light these coun- 
tries in the way of truth, life, and salvation. 

Another example of the great results from small 
beginnings is seen in the circulation of the Bible. Prior 
to the year 1800, Bibles were scarce and costly. In the 
year 18 16, a young man, in the city of New York, had 
his Bible stolen from him. He resolved to organize a 
Bible Society. His resolutions were carried out It is 


called the American Bible Society. It had a small be- 
ginning, but to-day there are over five hundred men and 
women engaged in making Bibles for this society. 
Within a period of seventy-two years this one society 
circulated over sixty millions of Bibles ; while the com- 
bined societies, since the year 1818, have circulated in 
all countries, and reached all sorts of people, and in 
nearly every language, over one hundred and twenty 
millions of Bibles. Thus, from a small beginning, the 
word of God has been carried with marvelous rapidity 
into the highways and byways of all nations. 

In the cause of Christianity, we see another great 
result from a small beginning. It was, at first, like a 
grain of mustard seed which, being planted, has grown 
to be such a great tree that the fowls of the air lodge 
in it. It was like the little leaven which a woman 
hid in the meal — powerful in its effects, it leavened the 
whole lump. In spite of crucifixion, scourgings, perse- 
cutions, imprisonments, and the opposition of kings, 
tyrants, heathens, and infidels, Christianity has grown 
until it has illumined, purified, and comforted millions 
of people. It has grown until it has leavened a large 
part of the world with the knowledge and glory of God. 
Is has grown until the very kings of the earth are bow- 
ing down to it. It bids fair to sweep on and. on, lead- 
ing captivity captive, destroying the power of Satan, 
supplanting infidelity, breaking down false gods, and 
elevating and ennobling mankind, until the very king- 
doms of this world become the kingdoms of God. 

In every department of life stupendous results have 
grown out of small beginnings. No matter in what 
men embark or engage, they should not despise small 
beginnings. Everything may seem dark, results may 


be meager, the opportunity to develop may be narrow, 
and the discouragaments may be many. Yet they 
should not give up ; the upward turn will come. Da- 
vid was once a shepherd lad, but was afterward a king. 
Joseph was once sold by his brethren, but afterward 
stood high in the favor of Pharaoh. Studebaker's 
wagon- works began in an old wayside blacksmith shop. 
Stuart began selling candy at a cent a stick. Russell 
Sage began on four dollars a month and board, By 
cherishing the day of small beginnings, by patience, 
by working, by waiting, and by a strict adherence to 
the principles of industry, temperance, and economy, 
great results and great characters will be achieved 
before death. 

Are you striving to gain knowledge and grow in 
wisdom ? Does the road to knowledge seem long and 
rugged ? Do not give up. The wisest men were once 
in ignorance. We learn a little at a time. Moses was 
once hidden in the bushes, but was afterwards highly 
educated in the schools. Homer was a beggar. Yale 
College began with one teacher and one pupil 
Knowledge and wisdom are purchased only by effort 
and time. By learning a little at a time, and by learn- 
ing a little every day, in course of time there will be 
some degree of knowledge obtained. The extent will 
be measured by the application and capacity of the stu- 
dent, and by the time given. 

Let no one despise small beginnings, but give them 
special care, tenderness and attention. Thought after 
thought, and book after book, will make the mind 
strong. One good deed after another will make a philan- 
thropist ; one dollar saved after another, and so on, will 
enable the thrifty man to accumulate thousands; one 


picture after another will soon adorn and make beauti- 
ful the home. 

Let not the parents be discouraged in their efforts 
to train up their children in the way they should go. 
Little by little let them enforce and exemplify, and out 
of this work, which may seem small, will grow great 
endings. Let the teachers press on in their work. 
Little by little they make mighty impressions which 
will tell in after life. The youth of to-day will own 
and control the world in the near future. Let all 
young men and women cherish the day of small begin- 
nings. Let them be careful to look after the details of 
life. Let them never give up because the results are 
meager. Let them aim high, yet despise not the 
rounds in the way of ascent, and soon they will fill po- 
sitions of trust and merit. Let them seek after exten- 
sive knowledge, strong faith and ardent love, and one day 
they will bless the world with their light, knowledge, 
and love and works. Despise not the day of small be- 
ginnings ; despise them not by neglecting them ; de- 
spise no opportunity to gain useful knowledge ; despise 
none of the opportunities which are afforded to you to 
bless mankind with cheerfulness, love and happiness. 
By thus cherishing the small beginnings you will pro- 
duce results which eternity alone can measure. Re- 
member the poet's words : 

" One step and then another, 

And the longest valk is ended ; 
One stitch and then another, 
And the largest rent is mended. 

•• One flake and then another, 
And the deepest snow is laid ; 
One brick upon another, 

And the highest wall is made. 


/« So the little coral workers, 

Ey their slow and constant motion, 
Have built those pretty inlands 
In trie distant, dark blue ocean. 

•* And the greatest undertakings 
Man's wisdom hath conceived 
Have, by oft-rep-ated efforts, 
Been patiently achieved." 


Every person may not be able to do great things 
like Paul, Luther, Columbus, and Washington, but 
every one can adorn the home. 

Home! This one word crowds the mind with 
thoughts and fills the heart with love. It is deep in 
meaning and full of blessings. Ask the traveler in 
foreign lands what one word unseals the fountains of 
his heart, and he will say, "Home." Ask the brave 
mariner, who defies the storms and perils of the sea, 
what one word unmans him, and he will say, " Home." 
Ask the young man who has left his parents' roof to 
struggle for himself, what one word makes him a child 
again, and he will say, " Home." 

The word home makes us think of husband, wife, 
father, mother, brother, sister, child and friend. 
The word home makes us think of the walls, the pic- 
tures, the grass, the flowers, the trees, and a thousand 
other familiar objects. The word home often fills us 
with delight, comfort, sympathy, transport, and love. 


No matter how far away, or how many years it has 
been since we were there, the old home is still most 
sacred. The mother's Bible may no longer be read ; 
the father's chair may be vacant ; the brother's step 
may be unheard, and the sister's voice may be silent ; 


but the home memories are still sweet. In memory 
you can see every familiar object in the house — stoves, 
tables, beds, pictures, etc.; you can even see the 
familiar arrangement of these objects. In memory 
you can see the tender smile of the mother, the 
gentle love of the sister, the strong form of the father, 
and the cheerful eye of the brother. Ah ! each chair 
is filled, "and we are all at home." Without are the 
clear waters of the brook, the bleating sheep, the 
lowing cattle, and the humming bee, the prancing 
horse, and the song of the whippoorwill, the laden 
fruit-trees, and the ripening grapes; familiar scenes; 
hallowed memories of "home, sweet home." No 
perennial summers, no bright skies, no charming 
sceneries, no devoted friends can remove the thoughts 
of the old home. 

During the recent war, a division of the Northern 
army and a division of the Southern army were sta- 
tioned upon opposite hills. The Federal bands played 
"Hail Columbia." The Confederate bands played 
"Dixie." The Federal bands followed with 

" My country, 't is of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty." 

The Confederate bands then struck up " Home, Sweet 
Home." The Federal soldiers joined with the Con- 
federates. Every horn, flute, and drum on both sides 
joined in "Home, Sweet Home"; every voice of 
those hardy soldiers sang "Home, Sweet Home"; 
every heart beat "Home, Sweet Home," and every 
eye wept for "Home, Sweet Home." It brought 
back familiar scenes and faces. It brought up com- 


mon ties and sympathies. It brought to memory 
many a child, and wife, and mother. 


In order to adorn the home it is necessary to have 
one. There are too many boarding-houses nowadays, 
and too few homes. The boarding-house is not a 
home ; it is not a good place in which to rear children ; 
it takes duty and development from the mother ; it 
affords but little pleasure to the father ; and it ruins 
many children. There is an unholy ambition to fur- 
nish and support costly homes ; if this can not be done, 
the couple board. Too many young ladies desire to 
begin house-keeping in as fine, if not in finer style, 
than that in which their parents are living. This very 
thing keeps many young men from marrying. Better 
lay aside silks, laces, jewels, feathers., and all super- 
fluities, and practice a careful economy in order to 
secure a home. Every man should strive to set up a 
home. Every man should aim to be the king, and 
every woman the queen of a home. To secure a 
home is a high and holy aim. It is a worthy object. 
It will inspire the heart to many worthy deeds, brave 
the soul against many dangers, and add to the peace, 
purity, strength, and happiness of the nation. 

The place does not make the home. It is the charac- 
ter of the inhabitants that constitutes the home. The 
ideal home is too often made up of a beautiful man- 
sion, with bay windows, body brussels, an elegant 
piano, lace curtains, costly paintings, downy beds, easy 
carriages, numerous ornaments, luxurious tables, and 
every possible worldly comfort. But these do not 
make the home or bring the happiness. A hut is 


often more of a home than a palace. People may live 
and shine in mansions and be far from happy. Show, 
fashion, and luxury are outward ornaments. Material 
things do not make the home. The home is made by 
the occupants. If they are selfish, craving and discon- 
tented, such will be their homes. If the occupants are 
happy, the homes are happy. If meekness and virtue 
dwell not in the occupants, there can be no peace or 
comfort in the home. Then remember that home is 
what you make it; a paradise of joy, or a dwelling 
place of sin and trouble. 


It is the best school in which to learn patience, self- 
control, and duty. It is the university for the whole 
race. "One good mother is worth a hundred school- 
masters " The mother is the central sun of the home. 
All move around her. She adds stability and charac- 
ter to the home. Without the mother it is a poor 
home. This is the first and greatest sphere for woman's 
actions. Her nature and tastes qualify her for this 
work. She is the genius and queen of the home. It 
is her kingdom. She may teach schools, write books, 
and fill positions of trust and mercy, but her greatest 
power is in the home. She is the rising and setting 
sun, shedding her beneficent beams over all, influencing 
them for good, great, and noble deeds. In the home 
women exert their power over men and the nation. 
The mothers are mightier than armies, schools, and 
legislatures, in shaping the destinies of the nation. 
They did not write the Iliad, Hamlet, or Paradise Lost; 
they did not invent the algebra, telescope, or printing 


press ; but they have given to the world virtuous men 
and women — the world's greatest productions. Great 
men have sprung from good women. Their secret 
triumphs and influences are recorded in heaven more 
than on earth. 

In the home is the place to train children. It is an 
old saving, "Manners make the man." Another, 
"The mind makes the man." But greater than either 
is the third, that " The home makes the man." Home 
training includes the manners, mind, and heart. Here 
the habits are formed, the intellect awakened, and the 
heart molded for good or evil. The character is 
formed in the home. This life precedes all others. It 
is the basis. Seeds are sown in the home which will 
spring up into fruitful trees to bless or curse society. 
Children breathe the moral atmosphere which the parents 
create. They live and move and have their being in 
the very presence of their parents. They are more the 
image of the parents in character than in body. 
Hence the importance of training the children in the 
ways of truthfulness, honesty, justice, purity, and 

Samuel the prophet was instructed by his mother, 
Hannah ; John the Baptist had a noble mother in 
Elizabeth. The mother of Timothy brought him up 
in the Scriptures. There was but one person on earth 
whom Napoleon Bonaparte loved, respected, and 
obeyed ; and that was his mother. The methodical 
mother of the" Wesleys wrote to her sons to throw 
method into their studies and business transactions. 
Goethe said his "mother was worthy of life," and 
after she was dead he sought out all who had been 
kind to her, and thanked them. One tear- from the 


mother of Alexander could move him more than ten 
letters from a king. George Washington's father died 
while George was young ; but the widowed mother, 
with her many excellent qualities, governed a large 
household and brought up her children to fill honor- 
able positions. When James A. Garfield was made 
President of the United States his first act was to 
salute his aged mother. Many who read this can 
testify that they are indebted to their mothers for 
much of their goodness. Is she dead? Does not 
your heart cry out : 

" Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight ; 
Make me your child again just for to-night. 
Mother, come back from the echoless shore ; 
Take me again to your heart as of yore." 

Then, mothers, seeing the great and lasting influence 
you have upon society, are you not inspired to be 
wise and prudent in the home? By your side you are 
bringing up the men and women of the future : some 
for teachers, some for preachers, some for lawyers, 
some for judges, some for merchants; some for bank- 
ers, some for drunkards, some for saloon-keepers, some 
for thieves, some for murderers ; some to elevate, 
ennoble and bless society, some to tear down and 
degrade society. May God be with you in training 
and influencing all for good. 


"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." 
" Her price is far above rubies. " We are to add to 
our faith virtue. Virtue is just as valuable in man as 
in woman. Virtue is chastity, purity, and moral ex- 
cellence. In the home is the place to exercise it and 


the place to teach it. The absence of virtue will bring 
moral ruin. The purity and virtue of home has saved 
many a man from ruin. It will build an iron wall 
around a man's moral nature. The sanctity and virtue 
of home has enabled many a passionate man to resist 
temptations, and subdue strong impulses. 


The Bible teaches us to be courteous. Good 
manners means to be genteel, polite, courteous, and 
refined. If courtesy to a stranger makes him feel 
happy, how about courtesy to the relatives in the 
home? A good-night kiss and a kind "good morn- 
ing" impart cheer and animation. Politeness at the 
table is never out of place. Care should be taken at 
the table both as to the manner of eating and of speak- 
ing. Politeness between meals is always in place. 
Remember that the " manners" corrupt or purify, de- 
base or exalt, barbarize or refine the home. Remem- 
ber to call one another by the proper names, and 
to make a free use of the word "father," "mother," 
"brother," "sister," "son," and "daughter"; this 
is scriptural. Remember that if the manners are rude, 
coarse, and vulgar in the home, they will not be 
elegant and refined away from home. The home lan- 
guage, bywords, and slang will certainly be used in 
society. The coarseness or politeness will readily ap- 
pear. Men and women of good manners at home are 
men and women of good manners away from home. 


We are commanded to be gentle and to show 
meekness to all. Gentleness is also considered one of 


the first fruits of the Christian spirit. This softness in 
manners, this sweetness in disposition, this quickness 
in consideration, this meekness in heart, can best be 
practiced in the home. Of all places home is the 
most delicate and sensitive. Of all relations those of 
the home are the most easily touched. The troubles of 
the outer world are more easily borne than the troubles 
of the home. The arrows and storms of the home strike 
heavy upon the heart. In the home there should be 
gentleness in the word, hint, and action. This spirit 
of gentleness will enable all to avoid offenses, to bear 
up under provocations, and to keep jars out of house- 


Religion is designed to make man happy and to 
keep him rejoicing evermore. All true happiness is of 
God, and is right. Home is the plr.ce to be happy. 
How frequently children do not love home, and wan- 
der away from the parents' counsel to seek the com- 
panionship of strangers. This is frequently because 
their parents have been frowning and cross, and have 
made the home dingy and dirty, instead of making it 
pleasant, attractive, and happy. Interesting and prof- 
itable amusements should be introduced around the 
hearthstone. Laughter is human. The desire for 
amusement is natural. Mirthfulness promotes health. 
Cleanliness is next to godliness. Proper amusements 
are scriptural. They aid in removing care and sorrow. 
Home is the place for innocent and pure amusements. 
It is the place to have beautiful pictures, plenty of 
singing and cheerful music, and an abundance of joy 
and happiness. 



We are commanded to "use hospitality." We are 
commanded to entertain strangers. We are com- 
manded to invite the poor to our feasts. John pro- 
vided for the mother of Jesus. He took her to his 
home. Peter took his wife's mother to his home, 
where she lay sick with a fever when Jesus healed her. 
The greatest hospitality which can be shown to a friend 
is to welcome him to the home. In this strange land 
there is too little of this practice. There are many 
who have no homes, who would be much happier and 
better were more homes open to them, and were a 
cordial welcome now and then extended to them, 
to the parlors, libraries, joys and associations of the 
happy homes. Thus angels may be entertained un- 


Business and life are filled with battles, but " the 
home is the place to pitch the tent, hang up the hat, 
and to put away the musket." The voyage of life is 
one over a tempestuous sea, under many a wind and 
storm, but the home is the harbor of safety and rest. 
Here is rest for the weary mind, rest for the aching 
heart, and rest for the worn and fatigued body. Here 
is rest from the perplexities and adversities of business, 
here is rest from the pangs inflicted by enemies and 
misfortunes. At home with loving hearts, innocent 
children, and sympathetic friends, the heart is strength- 
ened, soothed, and encouraged for the world's con- 
flicts, troubles, and disappointments. 



What is a sweeter sight than a home where the wife 
loves the husband and husband loves the wife, and the 
children love the parents. Without love in the home 
all are miserable. It is the common tie which binds 
all hearts in one common sympathy and friendship. 
Without it all is gloom and darkness. There should 
be a mutual love between all. It will keep out hatred, 
malice, discord, scolding and revenge. Every sen- 
tence should be full of love, and every action should 
be characterized with love. Home will then be an 
Eden of love and the gateway to heaven. 


Good books are always good friends. They are 
kind companions. They never backbite or slander 
us. They never irritate or worry us. In them are 
hid the treasures of the past. They contain wealth 
for all, which once received can not be stolen by time 
or by thieves. In books we find the lives of heroes 
and heroines of all ages. Old and young should be- 
come interested in reading. There is great hope for 
the youth who is interested in the reading of good 
books. They animate the life ; they exhilarate the 
spirit ; they cheer the heart ; they inspire the mind. 
They constitute a strong barrier against sin and in- 
iquity. How can the lover of good books be content 
with low and vicious society ? In this day and age 
books should be considered necessities and not luxu- 
ries. Better do without carpets than good books. Let 
the home be adorned with good books. Let them be 
read and studied, and out from that home will go use- 
ful men and women to adorn society. 



No home on earth like the Christian's home. 
There is the place to erect the family altar, to call 
around it all the inmates, and to read the Word of 
God. There is the place to learn of Jesus. There is 
the place to talk about the church and about heaven. 
There is the place to bow down and ask God's blessing 
on the home, the school, the government, and the 
church. Out from such homes go useful men and 
women to fill useful places in society, and to bless the 
world with their knowledge of God, and their Chris- 
tian v/orks. Children always look back upon such 
homes with grateful hearts and thankful praise. If 
these virtues be practiced in the home they will be 
beautifully adorned. Sorrows, sickness, and tears 
may come to you, as they came to the home of Mar- 
tha and Mary, but if these virtues are practiced, Christ 
will comfort you as he comforted them. Poverty may 
come, as it did to the poor woman at Zarephath, who 
fed Elijah with the handful of meal and the cruse of 
oil; but if piety is practiced, God will assist in re- 
moving the poverty from you as he did from the poor 
widow. If there is a sinful child in the home, like the 
one at the tombs, and piety is practiced, one day he 
may return to tell what the Heavenly Father has done 
for him. If these virtues are practiced in the home, 
God will in the end give a home not of this world. 
" In my Father's house are many mansions." We 
have a building not made with hands, eternal in the 
heavens. All who practice virtue shall soon have the 
blessings of the heavenly home — joy without sorrow, 
light without darkness, flowers without thorns, love 
without envy ; and happiness without despair. We shall 


have a pure society and a pure church in that home. 
God will be the Father of that home. It will be a 
sweet, joyful, heavenly, and everlasting home. Oh 
let us set our hearts upon it, and let us do what we 
can to make the homes upon earth the image of our 
heavenly home. 


The word " hero " belonged to the Greeks. It was 
applied to those who distinguished themselves in war, 
art and philosophy. The hero was looked upon, no 
matter of what parentage, to be the offspring of some 
god. After his death, sacrifices were offered to him. 
To-day the word "hero" refers to one who displays 
a high degree of courage and self-devotion in the cause 
of country, philanthropy, reform, religion, or some 
similar cause. A hero is a man in the fullest sense of the 
word. He is a man of honor, of integrity, of truthful- 
ness, of courage, and of love. A hero is one who has 
the manhood and courage to do right, and to act for 
his race. He is content with virtue when all else is 
gone. He is willing to sacrifice himself for moral prin- 
ciple. He lives in deeds, and not in years. His tem- 
per is as fine as steel. He is made of the best metal. 
He does not ask for plenty. He is not dismayed by 
obstacles. He is not indifferent to the cry of distress. 
In short, he is an unselfish man. He is a man who 
lives for the good he can do. Heroism is acting genius, 
noble endeavor, and consecrated talent. Heroism is 
that quality which fires the blood of orators, stimulates 
the brain of scholars, animates the hand of art, organ- 
izes the movements of commerce, executes the laws of 
the land, and lives in obedience to the principles of 

temperance and virtue. 



Heroism is ever the same. It does not ebb and 
flow ; it does not rise and fall. Some men are only 
heroic on occasion. There are occasions when mean 
men are generous, when weak men are strong, 
and when cowardly men are brave. This is a poor 
sort of heroism. True heroism never wavers. It 
is not a momentary impulse, zeal, enthusiasm, and 
rising, like the leaping, frothing, and flooding mountain 
rivers during the rainy season, but it is a sure and 
steady flow of zeal, activity, and life, moving evenly 
along with increasing fullness, like the broad Missis- 
sippi, which flows on, ever deepening, ever broadening, 
bearing its cargoes from town to town, and from State 
to State. 


It is manifested in society and out of society. It is 
manifested by the rich and the poor, by the learned and 
the ignorant. It is often manifested under trying and 
difficult circumstances. The engineer who, with his 
hand on the throttle, braves impending danger; the 
pilot who, with his hand on the wheel, braves the ter- 
rors of ocean storms ; the fireman with hose in hand, 
battling with stubborn flames ; the boy who, with pa- 
pers under his arm, runs early and late to support his 
mother ; the man who is honest and truthful when fail- 
ure stares him in the face ; and the woman who, in pov- 
erty, with needle in hand, keeps back the wolf from 
the door, and maintains her virtue display acts ol hero- 
ism which are worthy of being recorded. By the 
daily endurance of trial there is much heroism dis- 
played in the humble spheres of life, which, if known, 


would stir the souls of all true-hearted men and women. 
The majority of heroic deeds never come to public no- 
tice. There are many heroes who are living in obscu- 
rity, many acts of heroism which are neither open nor 
conspicuous, which deserve to be recorded. The man 
who employs his time, energies, and talents in better- 
ing humanity, in forgiving offenses, in controlling pas- 
sions, in bearing burdens, has a better right to the title 
of hero than the proud and ambitious general who con- 
quers an enemy. Wherever life is bravely lived, labor 
patiently done, trials nobly borne, sickness uncomplain- 
ingly suffered, their we find heroism. Where drunken- 
ness reigns, heroes are sober. Wherever men are deceit- 
ful, heroes are honorable. Where ignorance prevails, it 
takes a hero to be wise. Where fashion leads, it takes a 
heroine to be modest. Where wealth rules, it requires a 
hero to measure man by his worth of character. When 
men defraud, gamble, and speculate, to make a living, 
it requires a hero to labor with his head and hands to 
provide things honest in the sight of man and God. 


The past is quivering with the deeds of heroes. 
Scientists go down through the strata of the earth in 
search of fossils. They are delighted when they 
find the footprints of birds and the skeletons of animals. 
Should not men be the more delighted when they go 
back through history and find the footprints of heroes, 
and the words and deeds of men who lived, wrought, 
and suffered for the advancement of the race ? In the 
sepulcher of ages we discover heroes who sought and 
worked for truth, liberty, and humanity; heroes who 
have left their homes, and bodies, and have gone to 


rest, but their deeds are still living to inspire us. They 
made all the history that is worth reading. They still 
speak to us. Their tombs are all eloquent — few heard 
them while they lived, but now they speak to millions. 
Literature has portrayed their lives in glowing colors. 
Authors have written books, whose pages are filled with 
their manly speeches, worthy struggles, heroic deeds, 
and noble triumphs. Poetry has breathed its gainful 
air to the heroes of history. Art has erected monu- 
ments to perpetuate their names. Thus it is that his- 
tory has become what Emerson says : " The length- 
ened shadow of great men." 


When the citizens of a nation are oppressed by bur- 
densome laws, unjust taxation, and cruel rulers, and 
they arise and demand justice, then look out for hero- 
ism. When men go forth and fight, to rid themselves 
of oppression, to gain their liberty, then there is na- 
tional heroism displayed. Switzerland displayed hero- 
ism in her struggle with Austria. Heroism was dis- 
played by the founders of the government under which 
we live. Washington was a hero, and surrounded by 
heroes. Heroes drew up the Declaration of Independ- 
ence and the Constitution of the United States. He- 
roes fought for our peace, purity, virtue, and liberty. 
Heroes fought at Lexington, Bunker Hill, Trenton, 
Georgetown, Germantown, and Yorktown. The liberty 
and peace which they fought to win can only be pre- 
served by heroic people. Sir William Jones says : 

" What constitutes a State ? 
Not high-raised battlements or labored mound, 
Thick wall, or moated gate ; 


Not cities proud, with spires and turrets crowned ; 

Not bays and broad-armed ports, 
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies lide ; 

Not starred and spangled courts, 
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride. 

No ; men, high-minded men, 
With powers as far above dull brutes endued 

In forest, brake, or den, 
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude ; 

Men who their duties know, 
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain, 

Prevent the long-aimed blow, 
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain, 

These constitute a State." 


Here we have clouds of heroes. Thousands of peo- 
ple, for the sake of faith in God, suffered death. This 
sort of heroism has been displayed during all ages, 
from righteous Abel down to modern times. - The 
Christian Church especially has abounded with martyrs, 
and history is filled with the fortitude they displayed 
under the crudest torments. John was beheaded, 
Christ was crucified, James was beheaded, Paul was be- 
headed. Legends come to us stating that Matthew was 
slain with a sword, Mark dragged through the streets 
of Alexandria, Luke was hanged upon an olive tree, 
Bartholomew was flayed alive, Peter was crucified, Jude 
was shot to death with arrows, Thomas was run through 
the body with a lance, Matthias and Stephen were 
stoned to death. 

It is certain that tens of thousands suffered martyr- 
dom for the cause of Christianity. Some were starved 
to death, some were drowned, some were burned, 
some were thrown to wild beasts, some were put 
upon the rack, some were stoned, some were shot to 


death with arrows, some were put in spiked barrels, 
some were thrust down from the temples, some were 
torn to pieces by pincers, some were cut to pieces by 
the sword, and in divers other ways were Christian 
people put to death for their faith in Christ as the Son 
of God and the Saviour of the world. 

It required heroism to sacrifice property, separate 
from friends, give up life, and suffer cruel persecution. 
Yet thousands did this, and they seemed wrapped in 
ecstasy in the very midst of their terrible suffering. 
Thousands have left examples of heroism, in changing 
the blood and sufferings of this world, for the joys and 
glories unspeakable of the world beyond. Thou- 
sands have changed the songs and shouts of the ribald 
mob for the songs of the redeemed and the praises of 
angels and of God. 


Reform is the cry of truth against falsehood. It is 
the cry of right against wrong. Great reforms have 
taken place in education, in commerce, in government, 
and in religion. Every one of these reforms planted 
seeds of a new civilization. All true reformers have 
been great heroes. Howard spent his talents, energies, 
time and money to bring about prison reform. He 
changed the miry and filthy cell to a clean resting-place, 
with whitewashed walls. Wilberforce spent his great 
life in laboring for the abolition of the slave-trade. He 
thought it unjust for man to enslave his fellow-man. 
He heard the cry of the wife while the husband 
was being sold from her, and the cry of the mother 
while the child was being driven from her presence. 
He believed not in trading, bartering and selling 


human kind, as you do the dumb brutes. Although 
he met with ridicule, abuse, and fierce opposition, 
he triumphed over it all. Lord Brougham labored 
for popular education. Prior to his time, only the 
aristocratic and the rich were educated. He sowed the 
seed which resulted in an education for the common 
man. To-day the poor boy can sit beside the rich 
boy, and enjoy the same instruction. Chambers took 
the lead in bringing about a reform in literature. Prior 
to his day, books were too high for the purse of the 
poor ; but through his labors cheap literature was 
introduced, and to-day the poor man can enjoy com- 
muning with the minds of great men through the 
medium of literature. Instead of paying a pound for 
a book, it can be obtained for a shilling. Sir Rowland 
Hill took the lead in the reform of postage. Prior to his 
time, it was a misfortune to receive a letter, because of the 
heavy postage which had to be paid on it. It required a 
pound to send as much mail as we can now send for three 
shillings. We owe cheap postage to his noble efforts. 
Watt labored for many years to perfect an apparatus by 
which to utilize condensed steam. Stephenson labored 
for over twenty years to produce and perfect the loco- 
motive engine. Prior to the time of John Heathcoat, 
bobinet cost twenty-five dollars a square yard. Through 
poverty and persecution he came to the front with a 
bobinet machine. Walker gave to the world matches ; 
Davy gave the electric light, Beaumont the railroad, 
Fulton the steamboat, Morse the telegraph, Edison 
the audiphoneand phonograph, Jansonthe microscope. 
Equally great have been the labors of the reformers in 
religion. Think of the study, work, trials, and sufferings 
of Huss, Luther, Wycliffe, Calvin, Wesley, Campbell, 


and scores of others. Men who have beheld human 
sufferings and needs, and have consecrated their lives 
to lessen these sufferings and supply these needs, have 
added their names to the list of reformers. Men who 
thus devote all their energies to bring about a better 
state of society are worthy of being called heroes. The 
world owes to them a debt of gratitude which it will 
never be able to pay. 


This is a sort of heroism which is not conspicuous. 
The strong and healthy move forward, thinking but 
little and caring but little for their suffering fellow-men. 
There are many heroes amongst the blind — heroes who 
have never beheld the beauties of nature, the delicate 
tints of the flowers, the verdant trees, the starry-gemmed 
heavens, the faces of their loved ones, and who have 
submitted unrepiningly to their lot, and done much to 
impart contentment and joy to others. There are 
many heroes amongst those who have never heard the 
tone of the flute, the peal of thunder, the song of the 
birds, and the voices of companions. Yet by patient 
labor and suffering they have mastered the signs and 
characters which enable them to commune with the 
active and noisy world, and to teach many valuable 
lessons to others. Think of the heroes who have suf- 
fered the loss of limbs, others the loss of health ; many 
of them uncomplainingly pass through life, cheering 
others, reflecting the light of their Saviour, and grow- 
ing in virtue and love. It is harder to be a hero as a 
sufferer than to be a hero as a worker. Every com- 
munity has heroes who suffer both in body and in 
mind. Heroes who are suffering these light afflictions 


find them to be but for a moment, and to work out for 
them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 


There is a heroism displayed on the part of students 
that is worthy of notice and commendation. There is 
something grand in seeing young men and women 
striving to educate themselves. When parents are un- 
able to educate their children, then the struggle comes : 
"Shall I remain in ignorance? or shall I, by dint of 
energy and application, educate myself? " It requires 
heroism to work all the summer to obtain means to 
defray expenses while at school in the winter. It 
requires heroism to turn aside from school, to teach or 
labor in some other industry for one or more years, in 
order to acquire funds with which to complete the 
education. It requires heroism to turn aside from fash- 
ionable life, to give up pleasure, and to apply one's 
self to the laying up of valuable knowledge for future 
usefulness. When other young men and women are 
starting into life without well trained and active minds, 
and are apparently making a success, it requires hero- 
ism to have the patience to complete the entire course 
in the school or college. There are thousands of heroes 
who are making this individual application ; who are 
ascending the steep and rugged Alpine cliffs to the 
heights of knowledge. All young men and women 
who overcome the obstacles in the way of receiving an 
education, and who move onward, never turning aside 
until they have an adequate knowledge of their busi- 
ness or profession, are worthy of being called heroes 
and heroines. 



Woman is as heroic as man. Her life is just as 
earnest, her trials are just as hard, her conflicts just 
as sharp, her troubles just as trying, her position just 
as responsible, and her sphere just as useful as that of 
man. She operates just as subtle springs, and touches 
just as many chords as man. Heroism on the part of 
women has not been as open and conspicuous as on the 
part of men. Many men have come to the public as 
heroes who were pushed forward by their heroines. If 
a woman as a helpmate of man makes a heroic strug- 
gle against adversity, alongside of her husband, does 
she not deserve praise and credit as well as he? Are 
not the mothers who comfort their children, throw a 
hallowed influence around them, and encourage them 
in everything which is true and lofty, worthy of par- 
taking of the name of heroine? The girl who labors 
in the kitchen, in order to support herself, and stay the 
hand of infamy, acts the part of a heroine. The wife 
who, with an invalid husband, or with a trifling husband, 
sustains herself and family, acts the part of a heroine. 
The widow who relies on her industry for a livelihood, 
acts the part of a heroine. The young lady who braves 
the fashions of life, and attends school until she adorns 
her mind with useful knowledge, has in her the ele- 
ments of heroism. The young lady who qualifies her- 
self for business, and prefers to make in that business 
some money that she can call her own, rather than 
depend upon her father for all she receives, is worthy 
of being called a heroine. Hundreds of such heroines 
are found in shops, in factories, in stores, in kitchens, 
and in schools. The past is full of the heroic deeds of 


women ; women who went forth to labor in the hospi- 
tals, to nurse the sick, and to comfort the sorrowing ; 
women who have gone forth to clothe the naked, to 
minister to the imprisoned, to teach the children ; 
women who have gone to the outskirts of the war, and 
doctored the wounded, and read to them about Jesus ; 
and women who have gone forth as missionaries and 
teachers, to carry light, hope, and salvation to the 
heathen. She is a heroine who says: " I shall strive 
to make myself ready, in body, mind, and soul, for 
every work that God shall give me." 


No one book contains the record of more heroes 
and heroines than does the Book of God. Its pages 
are filled with the lives of heroic men and women. 
There is Abel, who offered unto God a more excellent 
sacrifice than Cain. There is Enoch, who was trans- 
lated, that he should not see death. There is Noah, 
who was warned of God to prepare an ark to save his 
house. There is Abraham, who went out from his 
home, not knowing whither he went. There is Isaac, 
who blessed Jacob and Esau. There is Jacob, who 
worshiped, leaning upon his staff. There is Joseph, 
who befriended his guilty brethren. There is Moses, 
who refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 
and chose rather to suffer the afflictions of God than to 
enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. There is 
Joshua, who led the children of Israel on to victory. 
There is Samuel, a child of God. There is David, who 
was anointed king over Israel, and who sang so many 
sweet songs. There is Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, 
the clearest and sweetest of the prophets. There is 


Paul, Peter, James, and John, and other heroes of the 
New Testament, who, being dead, are yet speaking ; 
who have endured prisons, the wild beasts, and the 
cruel scourgings of wicked persecutors. They have 
gone to rest, yet their voices are echoing over their 
graves, and their words are sounding throughout the 
world, and their lives are penetrating the darkness of 
sin. There are the heroines of the Bible: Sarah, 
who was so faithful to Abraham ; Deborah, who 
gave such sweet comfort ; Ruth, who gleaned in 
the field; Esther, who risked her life to save her 
people ; Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus ; the 
widow, who gave all that she had ; and Dorcas, 
who was known by her good works. These women 
are dead, yet they are alive both to man and God. 
Their voices are heard no more, but their souls go 
marching on. There is Jesus, who is the greatest of 
all heroes, who is the model hero of the world, who is 
the Author of truth, who leads the soldiers who fight 
for truth, who is the Captain of salvation, and who suf- 
fered upon the cross, that the world might have a way 
open to peace and pardon. 


Every man has himself to conquer. Every man has 
daily opportunities to exhibit heroism which will flash 
upon the shores of eternity. Every man is called upon 
to rise above passion, and to rule his spirit. Every 
man is called upon to develop his slumbering powers, 
and to be wise in doing good. Every man is called 
upon to control his hands, his feet, his eyes, his tongue, 
the thoughts of his mind, the emotions of his heart, 
and the phantoms of his imagination. Every man is 


called upon to examine things in their true light, to 
regulate his desires according to truth, to curb his 
appetites, and to form good principles. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in suffering — 
to suffer pain without grumbling. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in forbear- 
ance — to bear with the insults and the insolence of men. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in adversity — 
to stand up bravely under the blasts of misfortune, to 
resist temptations, and to turn misfortune into favor. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in poverty ; 
instead of being overwhelmed by it, to make it a step- 
ping-stone to success ; to endure it, and strive to over- 
come it. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in keeping 
the understanding in a state of knowledge ; to gather 
truth, to let it shine upon the mind, and to grow in it 
until the end. 

Everybody is called upon to keep the will subject 
to God's authority; to keep it active in obedience, 
active in executing wise plans, and active in rectitude. 

Everybody is called upon to keep the memory stored 
with good things ; to strive to forget that which is of 
no service, and to carry forward for future service all 
that is of value and profit. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in overcom- 
ing prejudice; in overcoming the prejudices of birth, of 
a bad education, of corrupt associations, and of formal 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in overcom- 
ing bad habits ; to prevent the return of thoughts which 
for many years have revolved in the mind ; to defend 


one's self from the passion which has hitherto ruled ; 
to subdue bad habits, which have run on unchecked. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in bearing the 
burdens of others ; in doing what he can to lift the bur 
den of poverty, of sickness, of sorrow, of despondency, 
and of adversity off the shoulders of his fellow-men; to 
do what he can in the way of sympathy, kindness, 
prayer, and liberality, to bear the burdens of his fellow- 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic in keeping the 
heart fixed in love ; in keeping it void of offense, in 
keeping it in a state of watchfulness against sin, in con- 
tinued activity and improvement, and in lively devotion. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic at all places — 
in the family, in society, in business, and,in the church ; 
at all times — in adversity, in affliction, in prosperity, 
and in joy. 

Everybody is called upon to be heroic now. There 
never was such a demand for heroism as to-day. Moral 
heroism is needed in science, to convince the unbeliev- 
ing that all true science is in harmony with the Scrip- 
tures. Moral heroism is needed to breathe into our 
commerce honesty and truthfulness. Moral heroism 
is needed to purify the present state of corrupt politics. 
Moral heroism is needed in our schools, to defend them 
against immorality and infidelity. Moral heroism r is 
needed in the church, to purge it from formalism and 
sectarianism. Moral heroism is needed to man the life- 
boat to the perishing heathen. Moral heroism is needed 
to lead a life of virtue and honesty amidst the glare of 
fashion and the dazzle of vice. 

To be thus heroic, what pains must, be taken, what 
efforts be made, what means employed, and what 



persecutions braved ! To be thus heroic, patience 
long-suffering, diligence, and virtue must be exer- 
cised, and charity and benevolence practiced. To be 
thus heroic, the enemies must be conquered ; flesh and 
blood, Satan, and the world must be overcome. To 
be thus heroic, motives must be used; strength of 
character, contentment of mind, and the benefits to 
society must be kept in view. To be thus heroic, the 
crowns and rewards of the future must be considered ; 
for such heroism as is now demanded there are joys 
and glories unspeakable beyond the tomb. The great 
reward for heroism will be received when the hero 
stands in the presence of Christ and beholds him 
as he is, surrounded with angels, archangels, seraphim, 
and cherubim. When he hears the welcome plaudit, 
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter 
thou into the joys of thy Lord," imagination sinks 
under this promising prospect. Yes, Christian hero, 
after thou hast resisted flesh, Satan, and the world, 
after thou hast run the race of tribulation, after thou 
hast perpetually fought for the truth, after thou hast 
subdued thy passions, after thou hast conquered thy 
spirit, after thou hast kept thy heart in truth and vir- 
tue, after thou hast labored for the benefit of humanity, 
after thou hast held the love of God as the reigning 
power in thy heart, thou shalt arise in the presence of 
angels, and receive thy rewards, thy crowns of glory, 
thy palms of victory, thy harps of praise, and the 
society of the redeemed. 



Her condition to-day is immeasurably better than 
during the past. Her rights are more extended ; her 
surroundings are more congenial ; her education is 
more thorough ; her spiritual development is broader, 
than during the past. But still tens of thousands are 
bearing heavy burdens, and are being pricked with 
smarting needles. Thousands are in a state of destitu- 
tion and poverty which is next to famine. Thousands 
are sacrificing to idols. Thousands are slaves to hus- 
bands who punish them as they do dumb brutes. 
Thousands are being robbed of their virtue. Thousands 
are dragged down to woe, misery, and want. Thou- 
sands are in saloons, theaters, and dens of iniquity 
against their desires. Notwithstanding all this cruelty, 
oppression, and abuse, this age to women is one 
of sunshine, when compared to the dark ages of the 

This is truly a woman s age. It may be called an age 
of business, an age of inventions, an age of literature, 
or an age of practical achievements ; but it is also an 
age when woman shares equal rights with man ; an age 
when she is permitted to engage in various pursuits ; 
an age in which she is highly educated ; an age in 
which she is protected from the insults and insolence 
of tyrants; an age in which she can possess property, 



and go and come as she will. By all the tears of the 
oppressed women of the past, this age has come ; by 
all the prayers of thousands of Christian women, this 
age has come ; by the public schools, the printing 
press, and the republican government, this age has 
come ; by the religion of Jesus Christ, it has been 
ushered in. It has come with its homes, its achieve- 
ments, its education, and its advantages for women. 
Prior to this century there was not a single notable 
book in the world which had been written by a woman ; 
but to-day there are fifty women who have made their 
imprint upon literature, which will never be erased. 
Prior to this century there was not a single notable 
college in the world exclusively for women, but to-day 
there are scores of them, richly endowed, elaborately 
furnished, and ably managed. 


She has labored under the sting of centuries of 
wrong and cruelty. By some she has been considered 
a mere ornament; by some, a thing of beauty at which 
to look ; by some, an instrument for singing and merry- 
making ; and by some, a servant of domestic utility. 
Masters have considered her a slave. Libertines have 
considered her an object of lust. Polygamists have 
considered her as unworthy of being equal to man in 
love. She has been the toy of courts, the pleasure of 
religion, the servant of fashion, and the object of 
flattery. She has been deprived of her education, 
cheated out of her rights, and despoiled of her purity. 
Where society and morals have been low, woman has 
been debased. Where woman has been kept in igno- 
rance, society has been degraded. Where woman has not 


been respected, intemperance and riot have reigned 
supreme. During all ages and in all countries, with 
but few exceptions, women have, prior to the nineteenth 
century, been abused, degraded, wronged, kept in 
slavish subjection, and in woful ignorance. 


God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and 
from the rib which was taken from his side woman was 
made. Perhaps this accounts for the closeness of 
woman to the heart of man, and for her wonderful 
influence over him. God created man and woman with 
a division of labor in view. Woman was made for 
woman's work, and man for man's work. Woman has 
some rights which man has not, and man has some 
rights which woman has not. Man excels in phys- 
ical strength, but woman excels in beauty. Man excels 
in strength of mind, but woman in strength of heart. 
Man is brave, woman is tender. Man has great reason- 
ing power, but woman is strong in taste and purity. 
Swedenborg says : " Man was created to be the under- 
standing of truth, and woman the affection of good. " 


Intellectually, she excels in perception. Boys and 
girls of the same age at school are given a lesson : 
invariably the girls excel in the recitation of it. They 
grasp the illustrations and demonstrations first. Man 
and wife pass down the street ; the woman sees more, 
and on return can relate more of what she has seen, 
than the man Give man and woman of about equal 
intellectual endowments a newspaper paragraph to 


read, and in ten minutes the woman can relate more of 
what she has read than the man. Numerous such exper- 
iments have been tried, and the general rule is that 
woman excels in the acquiring of knowledge. 

She excels in wit. She has quickness in judgment, 
readiness of speech ; while man, on the other hand, 
reasons before arriving at the same conclusion ; thus 
woman has mother-wit, while man has reasoning power. 

She excels in fancy and imagination. In fancy she 
pictures through her feelings ; in imagination she soars, 
perceives, and penetrates. She outstrips man in imag* 
ing and picturing. 

She excels in taste. Taste is extempore judgment. 
In taste, in regard to the beautiful as seen in dress, the 
home, flowers, colors, and arrangement, she stands first. 

She also excels in curiosity. It is natural for women 
to crave knowledge, especially when there is an effort 
made to conceal it. Information she wants, and some- 
times without regard to the means by which it is 
obtained; hence she sometimes resorts to caprice and 



In emotion, woman is outspoken ; whereas man con- 
trols his feelings. In grief she cries, while the man 
sobs. In joy and pleasure, her mind is easily lifted 
above the normal level. She rejoices and laughs, and 
notwithstanding her many sufferings, she extracts more 
pleasure out of life than man. She is surprised more 
easily, and irritated more frequently than man. In 
hope she finds great joy. She lives in the future. No 
matter how heavy be the burden, she anticipates a 
better time to come. In pity, she is soon on a level 


with those who suffer around her. Thus, in the emo- 
tional nature, whether this emotion be displayed in 
grief, in sorrow, or in happiness, she has a thousand 
subtle chords. Being of a refined nature, and of sensi- 
tive disposition, she feels more keenly than man. 


Love belongs to woman. Man's love is soon fath- 
omed, whereas woman's love is shoreless. Man's love 
is only 12 carats pure, while woman's love is 24 carats 
fine gold. She loves home, with all of its surround- 
ings. She loves society with great affinity of heart 
and mind. She has a thousand ways to manifest her 
love to children and parents. She loves the community 
round about, and is always ready to substantially prove 
it. She loves all that is excellent, superior, and noble. 
She loves the beautiful in nature, in art, in intellect, 
and in spirit. 


The jewel of virtue in particular belongs to woman. 
She is purer in thought, more chaste in language, and 
more constant in conduct. Refinement belongs to her. 
She delights in meeting approbation, and in being free 
from guilt. She is frank and clear in her intercourse — 
always loyal to the truth, and subject to the law. Her 
reverence and veneration for the Supreme Being have 
always been greater than in man. In gratitude she 
acknowledges favors and appreciates them, while man 
takes them as just dues. 


This is manifested in her character, in seeking the 
good of others ; in great self-denial for the good of 


others; in great self-sacrifice for the good of others, 
regardless of consequences ; and in her devotion and 
her consecration to every good cause. Her benevo- 
lence is seen in connection with those in distress. Her 
sympathies are at once awakened; her liberality, as dis- 
played in warmth of feeling and largeness of heart, is 
at once manifested. She is also benevolent in connec- 
tion with the faults of others. She is generally ready 
to forgive, to pass over faults, and to forget them. In 
indulgence, she freely yields to the desires of those 
under her care. In tenderness, she deals kindly and 
feelingly with those around her. She has a strong desire 
to do good for her parents, to promote the welfare of 
the brother, and to increase the interests of the hus- 
band. She is considerate and careful with the servants, 
always possessing good will, good humor to her neigh- 
bors, ready to please, and willing to accommodate and 


This is manifested in the control of the bodily appe- 
tites, and in connection with cleanliness. She is more 
temperate in eating and drinking than man She has 
more freedom from intoxication than man ; she imposes 
more restraint upon the desire of the sexes than man ; 
she has more patience, endurance, submission, and 
resignation than man. Her fortitude enables her to 
carry a burden through life without complaining. She 
acts without offending ; she is long-suffering in bearing 
the injuries of others, and is generally gentle in spirit. 
Her self-control is also seen in connection with cleanli- 
ness. She is tidy ; she keeps everything in order. 
She is neat ; she studies to promote grace and beauty. 


She is modest and reserved in conduct, and has a high 
sense of propriety. We have briefly considered some 
of the special and most prominent powers of woman. 
We have seen that intellectually she excels in percep- 
tion, wit, taste, and curiosity. We have seen that the 
emotions of grief, joy, hope, and pity are prominent in 
her nature. We have also seen that love and virtue 
are highly manifested in the character of woman ; that 
she is more benevolent than man, and that she pos- 
sesses more self-control in connection with the appetites, 
passions, temper, and in cleanliness than man. 
We shall next consider 


It is her duty to take care of her health. But few 
things are as important as the preservation of health 
and strength. Fine and strong minds are but of little 
benefit when they are confined to weak bodies. The 
care of health on the part of women has been sadly 
overlooked. Nearly everything is studied in the public 
schools besides the care of the health. If girls and 
women desire to have good health, there are several 
things which they must observe. Care should be de- 
voted to dress. God has paid woman a compliment, 
allowing her to choose and make her own wardrobe. 
She has abused the privilege. Care should be exer- 
cised in selecting the proper material. Woolen fabrics 
and light colors should always have the preference. 
Care should be taken in regard to the cutting and 
making of the dress. Observation, experience, history, 
physicians, and common sense all say that no woman 
can maintain good health, and practice tight-lacing. 
In this respect, women serve the laws of fashion 


instead of the laws of health. They serve the Paris 
milliners instead of serving God. Boys dress so that 
their limbs can move with the greatest freedom, while 
girls frequently dress so that they can neither eat well, 
nor drink well, nor work well, nor sleep well, nor study 
well, nor endure cold and heat. They have permitted 
fashion to lace up their lungs, their hearts and their 
activities. They have permitted fashion to sap their 
life-blood, and choke their buoyancy of spirit. They 
have permitted it to make of them pet birds and house- 
plants. They stand in the house, and through the 
windows watch the boys breathing pure air, and en- 
gaging in sport and play. So long as women practice 
tight-lacing, and refuse to hang their skirts from their 
shoulders, and fail to take open-air exercise, they will 
have colds, aches, pains, sallow skin, wrinkled faces, 
heart-aches, headaches, nervous debility, and many 
other kindred diseases. Why should not the girls bring 
about reform in dress, and in physical exercise? Why 
should they not drink pure water, and eat simple and 
plain food ? Why should they not pay such attention 
to their dress, their exercise, their diet, their bathing, 
the ventilation of their rooms, as will contribute to their 
strength of body, mind, and character, their vivacity 
of spirit, their charming beauty, and their cheerfulness 
of disposition? 

It is her duty to tlwrougJdy educate herself. As we 
have noted, during the past women have been debarred 
from education. Their advantages in this direction 
belong to this century. And during this century many 
women have proved, by their highly cultivated intel- 
lects, able to master the sciences, to write books, to 
make eloquent speeches, to edit newspapers, to satis- 


factorily teach languages, and to cope with men in 
many other intellectual pursuits. No matter if woman's 
brain is five ounces lighter than man's, she should be 
educated. Whether weak or strong, this is due her. 
If one-half the race is educated, that half should be 
the women, because they do more to determine the 
character of men, and to control the destinies of the 
nation than the male portion of the inhabitants. They 
sow the seed. They hold the secret reins. The first 
female college of any merit was founded in 1821, in 
Maine. The next college was established at Granville, 
Ohio, in the year 1834. Miss Beecher about this period 
established Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which 
was incorporated February 10, 1836. From this period 
on, numerous female seminaries and colleges have been 
established. The principal female colleges in the 
United States are Mount Holyoke, Elmira, Wellesley, 
Vassar, Smith, and Bryn Mawr. Each of the Southern 
States and many of the Northern States have from ten 
to fifteen respectable seminaries for the education of 
women. One of the above-named colleges, which is 
located a few miles out of Boston, has grounds and 
improvements estimated to be worth $2,000,000, with a 
faculty of seventy-five, and about five hundred students. 
The course in most of these colleges is complete. Many 
of them are well endowed, with large libraries, beautiful 
galleries, comfortable and convenient buildings, com r 
modious and well laid out grounds. The co-education 
of the sexes in colleges is growing in favor. It has 
proved to be intellectually safe, morally wise, and 
physically prudent. Oberlin College, which has in at- 
tendance from 1,200 to 1,500 students, 55 per cent, 
being women, has proved co-education to be a success. 


Harvard has an annex for young ladies. Many other 
universities, State and otherwise, open their doors with 
the same privileges to young ladies as to young men. 
All these advantages in the way of education have been 
extended to women during the nineteenth century, and 
for the most part the latter half of that. Women should 
certainly be educated, because their lives are just as 
earnest, their battles are just as many, their duties 
just as important, and their opportunities for doing 
good just as great as those of men. Her education 
should develop the mind, train the muscles, discipline 
the nerves, and strengthen the body for the practical 
duties of life, and it is tending more and more to do 
this. Fashionable education is going to the wall. Every 
girl owes it to herself, to her friends, and to the nation 
to thus educate herself. If she fails to do this, she will 
be put to a great disadvantage during her whole life. 
Her enjoyments will not be one-half as great, nor her 
labors one-half so efficient. But a school education is 
not all the education that a woman stands in need of. 
When these happy days are over, she should devote a 
large share of her spare time to the reading of good 
books. Novel reading is to be discouraged, especially 
those novels which are known as French stories, dime 
novels, New York weeklies, police fiction, blood-and- 
thunder encounters, etc. The reading of such novels 
weakens the intellect, enfeebles the memory, benumbs 
the sensibilities, corrupts the heart, demoralizes the 
conscience, and retards spiritual growth. Those who 
read such novels admit thieves to their hearts, which 
steal away their purity, and admit murderers to their 
minds which destroy their strength of intellect. Novel 
reading, also, destroys the love for books of greater 


value, and a love for literary society. Every woman 
should be a subscriber to one or more good literary 
magazines and journals ; should have a ticket to the 
public library, if there be one in the community, and 
should, if possible, be able to read a half-dozen or more 
good books every year. This will gladden her heart, 
elevate her mind and soul, and give to her a holy 
ambition for many good works. Such a woman is 
sought and loved by all her friends and acquaintances. 
Her employment. — The education, so far as the school 
or college is concerned, having been completed, the 
young woman should cast about as to what she intends 
to do during life, in the event that she has to go alone. 
When boys finish their education, they look out for 
something to do. They enter some business, or pre- 
pare for some profession. This is just as important a 
period in the life of a young lady. Unless she acts at 
this time, she is likely to sink into idleness, drop into 
oblivion, fail to use her education to any good purpose, 
or else she enters society, and quite frequently becomes 
a sill} - and fashionable woman of society. Every young 
lady should prepare herself to make an honorable living 
in some useful industry. She may never be called 
upon to earn a livelihood for herself, but in event that 
she should be thrown on her own resources, she 
should be prepared to do so. A good husband is not 
to be picked up every day. The majority of young 
ladies marry, but many remain single. Many who 
marry are in after life forsaken by their husbands; 
many are dragged into poverty by dissolute husbands ; 
many are left widows, and many have to support indo- 
lent husbands. Hence the necessity of knowing how 
to do something in which an honorable living can be 


made. Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, if the Lord would 
bless her with a daughter, she would teach her some 
employment, so that, if need be, she could go through 
life single-handed. Then there is some independence 
in a girl being able to make some money of her own, 
and not having to ask her father for every penny she 
uses. The Bible recognizes women as being fit to 
engage in various industries. Deborah was a prophetess 
and a judge in Israel; Ruth was a gleaner in the field ; 
and Lydia was a seller of purple. 

Let us note some employments in which women can 
engage and maintain all their refinement and respect. 
Some are qualified for the art of printing — type-setting 
and proof-reading ; and some are well qualified for 
editors ; some for clerking, book-keeping, short-hand 
writing, and copying. They are also specially adapted 
to do ornamental work, the making of designs for 
wall-paper, carpets, and wearing apparel. On account 
of their delicate touch, they make excellent work in 
the line of engraving. They are well adapted for the 
medical profession. Nursing, the care of the sick, the 
preparing and giving of medicines, are fields in which 
women can use their talents to great advantage. Were 
there more women physicians, there would be fewer 
women diseases in the land. In the year 1847, Mrs. 
Blackwell made application to be admitted to medical 
schools of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, being 
refused at every one to which she applied. She finally 
entered the school at Geneva, New York, by vote of 
the students. Two years after she graduated, then 
studied in Paris and London, then practiced success- 
fully in foreign hospitals. On her return to New York 
in 1854, she established an infirmary for women and 


children, to which was attached, in 1867, a medical col- 
lege. In twenty years from Mrs. Blackwell's graduation 
at Geneva, six medical institutions were opened for 
women. There are now about forty medical colleges 
which admit women, besides several medical colleges 
exclusively for women. There are about one thousand 
women practicing medicine in the United States, many 
of whom have gained enviable reputations. Some 
maintain that women should enter the legal profession. 
About the year 1870, St, Louis opened her great law 
school to young ladies. This was followed by the law 
schools of Chicago, Iowa University, and many others. 
Women are now admitted to most law schools. There 
are women practicing at the bar in about twenty States. 
One of the best legal newspapers in the United States 
is edited by a woman. While the privilege of prac- 
ticing law is granted to women, but comparatively few 
are embracing it. The tricks of the profession, and its 
kinship to corrupt politics, seem to make the profession 
repugnant to her. 

The art of housekeeping is one which deserves 
special mention. If possible, every woman should be 
a good housekeeper. Comparatively few are perfect 
housekeepers. There is a far greater demand for 
women who understand housekeeping than for those 
who are advanced in the art of dancing. Domestic 
economy should be studied by all women. Clean 
houses, healthful breakfasts, appetizing dinners are not 
prepared by every woman. Women who understand 
the art of housekeeping can do more to cure headaches 
and promote good health than all the physicians in the 
world. When this art is once learned, and she is 
thrown upon her own resources, she can make a living 


for herself, either by keeping boarders or keeping 
house for some one else. Efficient housekeeping girls 
are always in demand. Statistics show that their 
average wages are better than the average wages of 
women clerks. They also have better health, more 
open air, and more leisure time. But the grandest field 
for woman's usefulness is that of teaching. This is her 
highest post of honor, and her grandest crown of glory. 
Here she especially excels. Her heart and head es- 
pecially fit her for this work. She loves children, and 
the children love her. Here she wields the mighty 
scepter which influences the race. Men teach simply 
from a sense of duty, but woman teaches from a sense 
of love. There were very few women teachers in the 
United States prior to this century. Women as teach- 
ers became popular and grew in favor at the rise of 
seminaries for girls and colleges for women. Women 
did not enter upon this important work until about the 
beginning of the century, and as normals increased 
and female colleges increased, and women demonstrated 
their ability by their works, the demand for women 
teachers constantly increased. The per cent, of 
women teachers in 1850, from the best statistics that 
I can gather, was less than 25 ; whereas, at the present 
writing, correct statistics show that 60 per cent, of the 
teachers in the United States are women. Male teach- 
ers still predominate in the Southern States, yet even 
there there is a great gain in women teachers. In nearly 
all cities from 90 to 95 per cent, of the teachers are 
females. Thus we see that by experience woman 
has taken possession of the public schools in less than 
forty years. Let her then be educated to the highest 
possible standard ; let her voice be heard in every work 


of education. Let her affectionate, benevolent, refined, 
and virtuous influence be felt and exerted in schools, 
academies and colleges. Let her elevating influence 
be used in every hall of learning, science, and art. Let 
her train up the youths of our land, morally, mentally, 
and physically, to fill stations of wealth, of honor, and 
of trust. 

Her duty and fitness to do work for the Lord. — Religion 
seems to be the heritage of woman. During the age 
of Rome, the heroic and brave were prominent. But 
when Christ came, he taught the virtues of patience, 
gentleness, endurance, kindness, meekness, long-suf- 
fering, submission, devotion, and love. Women have 
grown into these virtues. They have imbibed the spirit 
of Christ. They especially love the house of God and 
its service. Jesus has seen fit to represent his church 
as a bride, while the anti-church is represented as a 
woman upon the scarlet beast, full of the names of 
blasphemy. The pages of the Bible give prominence 
to the names of women. Eve, the mother of the race ; 
Sarah is a pattern of conjugal respect ; Hannah devoted 
Samuel to the Lord from his youth ; Ruth is por- 
trayed as being devoted to her mother-in-law, and to 
the God of Israel; Esther goes forth, willing to risk 
her life to save her people ; Deborah stands out prom- 
inently, with the courage of a man ; Mary, the mother 
of Jesus, magnified the Lord and rejoiced in him; 
Elizabeth, the mother of John, kept all the ordinances 
of God, and was found blameless ; Anna was a proph- 
etess, who loved the temple, and served God day and 
night. The first person raised from the dead by Jesus 
was a woman. The Samaritan woman obeyed the 
commandment of the Lord, and brought others to 


Jesus. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were 
loved by the Lord. A woman was the last at the 
tomb, and the first to announce the resurrection of Christ. 
Dorcas was full of good works. Lydia attended to the 
good things spoken by the apostles. Priscilla aided 
in teaching Apol'os the better way of the Lord. Eunice 
and Lois instructed Timothy in the Scriptures. Paul 
speaks commendably of the women who labored with 
him in the work of the Lord. There are some who are 
opposed to women doing church work, and quote as 
their reason for it from First Corinthians, fourteenth 
chapter: " Women must keep silence in the churches." 
If those who use this Scripture will carefully examine 
the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of First Cor- 
inthians, they will see that Paul was speaking in regard 
to certain spiritual gifts. It is evident that it was his 
desire that they should keep silent as regards the mirac- 
ulous powers which were being displayed in the church 
in Corinth. It is further evident that women did 
teach and prophesy in the church in Corinth, as is seen 
in the eleventh chapter, where it says : " Every woman 
that prayeth or prophesyeth with her head uncovered, 
dishonoreth her head." This would indicate that she 
could prophesy with her head covered. If women 
must keep silent in the churches, why are they permit- 
ted to sing? There was also a very great local preju- 
dice against women doing any public work in Corinth 
at the time of Paul's writing. It was distinctly proph- 
esied, as Peter states in Acts, second chapter, "It 
shall come to pass in the last day, saith the Lord, I 
will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons 
and your daughters shall prophesy." Prophesy means 
to teach, to exhort, to comfort ; and, as we have seen, 


women prophesied in the church in Corinth, and Paul 
speaks commendably in several of his letters of various 
women who were his helpers in the Lord. He speaks 
of Phoebe being a "servant of the church,'' and, on 
account of her devotion, receiving thanks from all the 
churches of the Gentiles. He writes to Titus about 
mentioning the aged women as being teachers of good 
things. It is also stated that Deborah, Huldah, 
Miriam, and Anna were prophetesses. 

These Scriptures are sufficient to convince any un- 
prejudiced mind that women have the privilege to labor 
in the Master's vineyard, given to them by divine 
authority. They are better adapted to do work in the 
church, than to preach the gospel from pulpits to the 
unsaved. They prefer to do the former. There are 
many theological schools which open their doors to 
female as well as to male students. There are in the 
United States over two hundred pulpits occupied ex- 
clusively by women, besides several prominent evan- 
gelists, and quite a number of missionaries. For the 
latter work, women are especially well adapted. They 
are more patient, more tender, more devoted, and 
more affectionate. We shall conclude by naming some 
special fields where woman should exert her talents in 
doing work • for the Lord. The home is her main 
sphere. In one sense, her sphere is the hemisphere ; 
but her first duty is in the home. Ella Wheeler Wil- 
cox says: " I can not understand how a woman who 
has been accorded that greatest of all gifts from heaven, 
a happy home life, can desire any career which inter- 
feres with it. The result of my observation does not 
lead me to believe that women who are sheltered with 
love and protection and appreciation long for the 


plaudits of the world." A pure home life is of vast 
importance. Without this as a basis, the character of 
a nation is weak and corrupt. In the home, the hus- 
band confides in the wife, the children lean upon the 
mother, the brother consults the sister. Here woman 
have the sway. Here they display their highest power. 
Here they find the broadest field of usefulness. Here 
they find the best expression of their nature. Here 
they have opportunity to praise the Lord, to strengthen 
and purify the spirits of those around. Here they can 
stimulate, by their gentle and refined influence, those 
who go forth to the grave and serious, as well as 
the tempting and dangerous duties, of the business 
world. When the home work is done, there should 
be some time taken for mental improvement ; and the 
homes around should be visited, with a view of doing 
something for the Master. There is a great deal of 
calling and visiting done with no object in view, save 
to gossip. There is too much conventionality in what 
is termed calling. Every woman who desires can find 
golden opportunities in her own community to do a 
great deal of good. There are many places where they 
can go to which men can not go. Her very nature 
gives her many superior advantages She can get at 
men, women, and children, who are beyond the reach 
of many men. There are the negligent and the indif- 
ferent, whom she can visit ; and by her fitly spoken 
words and kind invitations can persuade such to attend 
the church, and to take an interest in the salvation of 
their souls. There are many men and women in any 
community who need kindness more than they need 
money. There are strangers, who need cheer and 
sympathy to brighten their homes. In every town and 


city there are girls working as clerks, correspondents, 
dress-makers, and housekeepers, who have thousands 
of trials and temptations to encounter. They need the 
strong minds and loving hearts of Christian women 
thrown around them, to aid them in overcoming their 
many temptations. There are children in every com- 
munity who are out of Sunday-school, and many of 
them in poverty, hunger, and dirt, who need to be 
sought out, taken to the Sunday-school, and taught 
about Jesus, duty, and heaven. There are, and always 
will be, in every community, sick people, who need 
the attention of Christian women, who need flowers, 
papers, books, delicacies to eat, and who need sympa- 
thy, love, prayers, and help. There are, in every 
community, some poor people. They feel separated 
from the church and the higher life by dress, by position, 
by influence, by employment, and by customs of 
society. They need the presence of Christian women 
in their homes, to cheer them, and to invite them to 
church. There are, in every community, men and 
women who are hungering and thirsting for knowledge 
of God ; many men and women who are in religious 
doubt and darkness. They need Christian women to 
give them tracts, papers, and to teach them the better 
way of the Lord. There are missionary organizations 
in nearly every church, in which women are needed to 
aid in the collecting of funds for church extension, and 
for the support of missionaries in far-away lands. There 
is a " Women's Aid Society" in nearly every church, 
in which women can become efficient in doing work for 
the Master. There are also "Women's Christian Tem- 
perance Union " organizations in nearly every town 
and city, in which women can work, and do great good 


in the way of throttling- the monster, Drink. Christian 
women can also do much good in the way of dissemi- 
nating good literature, and in removing pernicious 
novels from the possession of those who read them. 
They can also aid in providing suitable parties, enter- 
tainments, and amusements for the young, which will 
supplant the beer-garden, the gambling-den, the horse- 
race, and the low theater. Christian women can do 
much to correct the bad habits of the young men who 
are going down to ruin in every community. It is 
especially their duty to look after young men who have 
no homes, who are comparative strangers, and who 
are thrown under the influence of worldly society. It 
is the duty of Christian women to exert themselves to 
erect a barrier around such young men against the 
fiery darts which assail them, and to pluck them from 
ignorance, ruin, temptation, and sin. Women who want 
to work for the Lord can find abundant opportunities 
upon the highways, byways, alleys, and in the homes of 
the poor and neglected. There are numerous opportuni- 
ties for them to bring the blind, the lame, the halt, the 
poor, the orphans, the strangers, and the indifferent, to 
Jesus. It was said of Mary, " She hath done what she 
could." Let every Christian woman do what she can. 
Let her first object be to be the queen of the happy 
home; to be loved and appreciated by husband, chil- 
dren, and friends. Let her do what she can, in the 
church, in the Sunday-school, in missionary societies, 
and in the community around. If she has special 
talent and peculiar genius for literary or public work, 
then let her devote herself to this sphere of usefulness. 
The world is in need of more such teachers as Mary 
Lyon, Miss Grant, Miss Beecher, and Miss Maria 


Mitchell. The world needs more such devoted speak- 
ers as Mrs. Siddons, Anna Dickinson, Frances Willard, 
Susan B. Anthony, and Mrs. Whitney. The literary 
world has received great wealth and many blessings 
from such authors as Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Harriet 
Beecher Stowe, Alice Cary, Elizabeth Barrett Brown- 
ing, Mary Clemmer, Gail Hamilton, Miss Alcott, 
Helen Hunt Jackson, Jean Ingelow, Fanny Forrester, 
Mrs. Alexander, Mrs. Hemans, Grace Greenwood, 
Charlotte Bronte, and many others. May God bring 
up more such women to wield the pen, in elevat- 
ing and ennobling society. Every prison echoes with 
the sweet-toned voices of Mrs. Fry and Mrs. Liver- 
more, reading the story of the prodigal son, the lost 
sheep, and the great Shepherd who is mighty to save. 
Thousands of heathens owe their light of the Saviour, 
and their hope of immortality, to the labors of devoted 
missionary women. From the side and teachings of 
Christian women, in public schools and the Sunday- 
schools, have gone forth great men, who have become 
eminent as merchants, teachers, statesmen, missionaries, 
and ministers of the gospel. It is the duty of every 
woman to consecrate her talents and devote her powers 
to the advancement of the Master's cause. Let men 
discover science after science, but let the women bless 
the world with their new and grander realms of benev- 
olence. Let men spring upon the world wonderful 
inventions to enrich the race, but let the women develop 
a thousand moral charms, and a thousand allurements 
to truth, and a thousand incentives to virtue. Let their 
first duty be to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn from 
him to be meek and lowly in heart. Nine-tenths of the 
great Christian women of the world became Christians 


prior to the age of twenty-five. Let this persuade every 
girl, as soon as her intellect is awakened to a knowledge 
of the truth, to sit at the feet of Jesus, where her sins 
will be pardoned, and where she will be happy, cheer- 
ful, hopeful, and safe. From this Jesus she can derive 
inspiration, which will aid her in rescuing the sinner 
from perishing ; in finding homes for orphans ; in dis- 
pelling gloom from the dark streets of cities ; in carrying 
light to the heathen ; in proclaiming the gospel of 
health, beauty, refinement, salvation, and hope to the 
fallen around her. Let her make use of her time and 
talents, not in fashion and folly, but in noble endeavor 
and useful work. Let her develop her powers, and 
go humbly and prayerfully, with a song upon her lips, 
and with love in her heart, and do all that she can, so 
far as she has opportunity, to adorn the characters of 
men, women, and children with joy, peace, long-suffer- 
ing, gentleness, meekness, patience, temperance, kind- 
ness, and love. If she will do this, she will have wealth 
of soul, wealth of heart, and purity of mind. If she 
will do this, the world will be made happier and better, 
Christ will be glorified, and she will win God's iavor 
in this life, and eternal joy in the life to come. 

'The woman's cause is man's : they rise or sink 

Together, dwarf d or god-like, bond or free 

Then let her make herself her own 

To give or keep, to live and learn to be 

All that not harms distinctive womanhood. 

For woman is not undeveloped man, 

But diverse : could we make her as the man, 

Sweet love were slain : his dearest bond is this, 

Not like to like, but like in difference. 

Yet in the long years liker must they grow : 

The man be more of woman, she of man ; 


He gain in sweetness and in moral height, 

Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world : 

She, mental breadth, nor fail in childward care, 

Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind ; 

Till at the last she set herself to man, 

Like perfect music unto noble words 

Then comes the statelier Eden back to man ; 
Then reign the world's great bridals, chaste and calm: 
Then spring the crowning race of human kind. 
May these things be." 


Pass down the street, and you meet young men ; 
go into the store, and you purchase from young men ; 
go into the bank, and your money is counted by young 
men ; go into the telegraph office, and young men 
send your message ; go into the hotel, and its rooms 
are filled with young men ; go into the theater, or ball- 
room, and you see crowds of young men ; watch the 
patrons of the saloon, and you watch young men ; 
visit the penitentaries, and there you see, in striped 
clothes, scores of young men. Every way you turn, 
you are met by a young man. Read the newspapers, 
and you read about young men. Examine history, 
and you find its pages covered with heroic deeds of 
young men. They figure largely in every department 
of art, commerce, science, and literature. They are 
found in the pulpit, in the forum, and in the field. 
Thousands of them are noble, true, and brave. 
Thousands of them are temperate, honest, and relig- 
ious. This chapter is not about the true and the noble- 
hearted young man, but about the " fast young man." 
It may be a credit to have a fast ship, a fast engine, or 
a fast horse, but to be a "fast young man " is to be 
void of understanding. 



It is proper that parents rear their children. They 
love them. They desire them to become good and 
useful. They desire them to fill honorable and useful 
positions in society. They have more knowledge and 
experience than their children, and hence are well- 
calculated to give the proper training to their offspring. 
Many parents are too indulgent with their children. 
They give sufficient instruction, but they fail to enforce it. 
They command, but they let the command go unheeded. 
They dislike to see the dear ones disobey, but they ex- 
cuse the disobedience. They indulge the children, think- 
ing that that will command their respect more than if 
they restrain them. Eventually, the boy finds that he 
has the same home privileges and the same love from 
the parents during his disobedience as during his obedi- 
ence. The desire to be away from home is early formed. 
At first he is refused, but he insists. After a year or two 
he goes without asking. Not infrequently the boy from 
ten to fifteen goes and comes at his own discretion. 
He is more frequently found absent from the parental 
roof than under it. Where he is, the parents do not 
know. Perhaps in a neighboring grocery, sitting on 
a box, telling stories ; perhaps with a friend in a hay- 
mow, playing a game of cards ; perhaps setting up pins 
in a bowling alley, and commenting on the game ; per- 
haps on top of a freight car, watching a game of base- 
ball over the fence ; perhaps he is off on a swim, or 
watching the crowds go into the theater. The parents 
do not believe in all this, but they have been too indul- 
gent, and now it is useless to reprove him. He does as 
he pleases ; he glories in being his own ' ' boss. " By the 


time he is grown the home has lost much of its charm, 
the fireside has lost its attractions, the mother's coun- 
sel is never sought, the father's request is seldom 
heeded, and even the sister's love has no restraining 
influence. Thus he has become fast in disobeying his 
parents, and fast in forsaking the home which should 
be to him the dearest spot on earth. 


A man of understanding seeks wisdom all his life. 
Youth is a period of life when a systematic education 
should he obtained. Youth is the period when all the 
energies should be bent on securing a foundation upon 
which to build. Youth is the time to learn to think 
accurately and consecutively. Youth is the period in 
which to learn the common arts and sciences which are 
taught in the schools. An overwhelming majority of the 
youth of to-day care nothing for an education, and many 
who enter the schools never pass through the high 
school ; they drop out before they get there. They com- 
plain of being tired of study, of the lessons being too hard, 
of being compelled to study too much, of feeling badly, 
and of needing rest. Many manifest a preference to 
enter business. The indulgent parent reluctantly con- 
sents, and the education is brought to a close. The 
young man has been allowed to pass one of the grand- 
est opportunities in life — that of securing an education. 
He enters life uneducated and unprepared. He enters 
life with an undeveloped intellect, and thus dwarfs 
much of his future joy and success. He has stopped 
school, and now wants a year's, rest before he enters 
business. This period is spent in indolence, in loafing, 
and in the devil's workshop. Instead of storing his 


mind with useful knowledge, he puts in the rest of his 
school-days in learning to be rude, dudish, and unprin- 
cipled. Like certain birds, which always wade marshes 
and sea margins, never able to go into deep water, he 
is, all through life, superficial and shallow brained. 


He early learns to smoke, " to make a chimney of 
his throat, and a smoke-pipe of his nose." He learns 
the numerous qualities of cigars and cigarettes. He 
learns to test them by taste, smell, or feeling. He 
early learns to dance. Probably his parents encour- 
age him in this. Judge of a thing by its leader. What 
kind of man is the dancing-master ? Is he a teacher 
of morality ? Would you want him for a bosom friend ? 
Would you like for your sister to accept his hand in 
marriage? The Bible says: "Whatsoever ye do, do 
it to the glory of God." Has any dance of modern 
times been conducted to the glory of God ? When the 
young man can dance he stands in full bloom. He has 
learned to entertain with his heels. He has learned- 
the art of ' ' hugging set to music. " He now goes to balls 
and dancing parties. He loves to dance, and dance he 
will, without discriminating when, where, or with 

He early learns the road to the theater. He at first 
blushes on seeing the semi-nude forms, and upon hear- 
ing the theater slang ; but he soon learns to love to hear 
the indecent language and to look upon the voluptuous 
sights. In a few months he hears most of the leading 
actors and actresses ; knows the names of all the lead- 
ing plays; has adopted many of the stage epithets; 
and has drunk in much of the poison and pollution 


which will aid in tarnishing his character for life. 

He early learns to swear. At first the sound of pro- 
fanity pierced his soul. But he goes where he often 
hears it, the bad habit is catching, and he early learns 
•to take God's holy name in vain. Thus he early learns 
to use language that is indecent, disrespectful, unrea- 
sonable, and unscriptural. 

He is fast in learning to take a drink. He joins clubs 
where they indulge in the social drinks. He dislikes 
to appear odd or be derided, and hence he does as the 
multitude. He thus lays the foundation which may 
make him a reeling, bloated sot. 

Not infrequently he is fast in learning the way to the 
gambling den, and to the brothel. One bad habit brings 
on another, and several of these once formed, the gate 
to ruin is open, and he is on the road. 

He is fast in entering society. The doors of society 
are always open. He must enter. His mustache starts. 
He is as tall as his uncle. He must have a watch, a 
horse, or a bicycle, and several suits of clothes. He 
goes to political meetings. He goes on Sunday excur- 
sions. He goes into the torchlight processions. He 
goes to every theater. He occasionally goes to church. 
He goes to the club frolics. He goes to all the races 
and base-ball games. He goes to all the parties. He 
must know a girl in every circle, in every church, in 
every quarter of town, and in all the neighboring 
towns, so that wherever he goes he has a lady friend 
or two. He goes at least six nights a week ; this is 
necessary, for there is so much going on, and he has 
entered society. 

He is fast in spending money. He has no idea of the 
value of a dollar. His indulgent parents are liberal in 


giving him money, and he spends it recklessly. Bad 
habits are expensive. His salary is small, and he 
spends that in fast living. Instead of saving a por- 
tion of his earnings, his fast living keeps him in debt, 
and thus, being often behind, he has a way open to 
dishonesty, forgery, and embezzlement. The fast young 
man often spends enough money in riotous living, 
before marriage, to purchase a house and furnish it 
elegantly, and to make him comfortable in old age. 

He is fast in conceit and pride. What sage, from 
Socrates to Bacon, or from Bacon to Longfellow, was 
as wise as the fast young man of to-day ? He knows it 
all. You can not instruct him. He has seen, heard, 
and traveled. He is proud and conceited over his 
looks, his manners, his position, his attainments, his 
knowledge, and his witty sayings. 

He is fast in spending his health. Up late at night, 
and one night after another, his constitution soon 
breaks. The excitement of the giddy ball-room, with 
its dust and heat, adds poison to his system. Science 
and history prove that smoking, especially cigarette 
smoking, is most injurious to the health. The social 
drink adds another poison. Fast living breaks up reg- 
ular hours for eating and sleeping. Thus it is that 
many young men lose their health before they at- 
tain the vigor of manhood. Many fast young men con- 
tract disease prior to the age of twenty-five, which leave 
evil effects during all their lives, and even to the third 
generation. They do not preserve their health, but 
rush wildly on to the inevitable loss of mental and bod- 
ily vigor, which will be felt in after years to their 

He is fast in spending his time. Time is short — only a 


span, only a few years, and we are gone. Time is given for 
the highest use of reason, talents, and opportunities. It is 
given as a school for eternity ; as a period in which to 
adorn the character with noble qualities, and to prepare 
for a better world. But the fast young man wastes his 
time, spending many of his golden hours upon trifles. 
He abuses and misuses time. He talks of "killing 
time," and of a "good way to while away the time," 
never thinking that he is spending that which can 
never be recalled, and for which he will be required to 
give an account. 

He is fast in getting married. I do not oppose 
early marriages, when they are made in wisdom. 
One of the best things which can happen to a 
young man is to marry early, if he is prepared 
to dc so. The man who has no trade, and who 
is unable to support a wife, and who is unable to 
choose wisely, is fast in marrying. Thousands marry 
before they are prepared, before they have attained 
the proper fitness, and before they have given the sub- 
ject due consideration. No wonder there are so many 
unhappy marriages, and so many divorces. 

He is fast in getting into trouble. Along with 
a fast life comes trouble. Not infrequently this 
trouble is of a serious nature. Who are in our jails ? 
Fast young men. Who are in our penitentiaries ? 
Fast young men ? Who are victims of the gallows ? 
Fast young men. Who are found in our dens of 
iniquity? Fast young men. Who bring disgrace upon 
parents and sisters? Fast young men. Who frequent 
the saloons ? Fast young men. Who hath woes, 
who hath babblings, who hath ^contentions, who hath 


diseases and sorrows without cause ? The fast young 

He is fast in forsaking the house of God and religious 
instruction. Families in the church are happier and more 
contented than those out of the church. Children 
reared in the way of the Lord are better, wiser, and 
accomplish more good than those allowed to take the 
fast course. The churches do more to lessen crime, 
check drunkenness, and to overthrow iniquity than all 
the laws and papers in the world. When the fast 
young man breaks away from home and the school, he 
also breaks away from the Sunday-school and the 
church. He thus forsakes that which is true and pure 
for that which is false and impure. Instead of spending 
his Sundays in the house of God, he spends them in 
reading novels, lounging around, playing games, visit- 
ing and frolicking. 

He is fast in going down to death and judgment. 
Just as sure as the fast horse wins the race, the fast 
young man beats the sober man to death. The wicked 
do not live out their allotted time. Time spent in 
smoking, drinking, theaters, balls, etc., fires the brain 
and heart, and hastens the victim on to death. Bad 
habits dash down reason, intellect, conscience, and 
vivacity of spirits. This sort of life can not last long. 
Alexander and Byron were fast young men, and they 
were both cut off from life while in the vigor of man- 
hood. Death and judgment soon overtake the fast 
young man, and O how sad, when no preparation has 
been made for these two events, which come to all ! 

And what are some of the causes of this fast living ? 

They often lack proper home training. They are in- 
dulged too freely. They have not sufficient restraint 


thrown around them. Their parents spare correction, 
and thereby bring up fast children. Always rule by 
love ; but love sometimes demands punishment. God 
chastenrth his children to make them better. Home 
influence, restraint, attraction, and training can not be 
spoken of too highly, in keeping the boy from becom- 
ing fast. 

This is a fast age. People eat rapidly, work rapidly, 
travel rapidly, and do everything in a fast manner. 
The influence and tendency of this age is to make boys 
fast. This age is the fastest that ever dawned upon the 
world. In every department of life it is ahead of all 
past ages. The numerous labor-saving machines fill 
life with enthusiasm and excitement. Into the midst of 
all the hurry and bustle of life boys are turned loose, 
often unrestrained and idle ; hence it is no wonder that 
they become fast. 

Evil associations is another cause of their fastness. 
The saloons have their drummers, the theaters have their 
advertisements, the dens of iniquity have their charms. 
Papers and novels carry an abundance of trashy news 
and evil inspirations to the hearts of the young men. 
Surrounding them on all sides are the fools, the drunk- 
ards, the licentious, the gamblers, the theater-goers, the 
dancers, the idlers, the loafers, the spendthrifts, the 
deceivers, the swearers, and the law-breakers. Is it any 
wonder that the boys are fast ? 

Lack of understanding'^ another reason for there being 
so many fast young men. Common sense, good judg- 
ment and prudence are fortunes in themselves. Boys 
rush on, without reasoning or thinking what the end 
will be. They heed not the instructions of the aged, 
the wise, and the experienced. They care but little 


for the school, the home, and the church. They have 
not understanding to have purposes before them, for 
which they should work and study. The lack of pur- 
pose has made many a man a vagabond, or worse. He 
that hath understanding and manly purpose, hath 
neither time nor inclination to become fast. 

What is the remedy ? That is a difficult question. 
Beyond the cloud, is there no silver lining? Poets, 
philosophers, editors, authors, mothers, teachers, 
preachers, have long studied this question : How pre- 
vent the boys from becoming fast ? 

1. Let work begin at home. Let the parents, by 
thought, word, prayer influence, and deed, do all in 
their power to start the boys aright. Let them be 
restrained. Let them be taught obedience. Let as 
much study be given to training of the mind and 
morals as to the food and clothing of the body, and 
great will be the results. Let home be made attrac- 
tive. Amusements, flowers, birds, good papers, and 
books should be plentiful. Let parents take pains to 
invite to their homes good and wise people, who will 
impress the boys with the serious concerns of life. 

2. Let citizens elect men to office who will enact 
and enforce laws which will remove many temptations 
from before the young. When officers do not en- 
force the law, will not God hold responsible those 
who elect them ? Oh, for moral courage on the part 
of the officers and citizens to throttle the rum traffic, 
and to practice that righteousness that exalteth a 
nation ! 

3. Let our business men provide gymnasiums and 
harmless amusements for the young men. More inti- 
macy is needed between the employer and employes. 


Business men who take care of the young men in their 
midst do much to check their fast living, and to build 
up morality in the community. 

4. Let the young ladies throw a restraining influ- 
ence around them Let them never accept as a sweet- 
heart any young man who is fast in forsaking the home 
and the church, and fast in forming bad habits. A 
young lady had better never marry than to marry a 
fast young man, who will lead her into trouble and 

5. Let the church arouse herself to work. Let her 
shake off the dust from her feet, and go forth to the 
work of saving the boys and young men. They should 
receive a cordial welcome to all the services. Good 
singing and good preaching should be set before them. 
Let the services be made sweet, impressive, and scrip- 
tural. The gospel should be preached to them, not 
only from the pulpit, but from the every-day lives of the 
members. Would it not also be advisable to provide 
proper social entertainments, where they could come 
in contact with people of virtuous character, whose 
acquaintance and influence would aid in restraining and 
saving them ? 

Is there a fast young man reading this ? I mean a 
young man who has been fast in breaking away from 
home and from the church ; who has been fast in 
casting aside the Bible and religious instruction, and 
who has been fast in contracting bad habits ; in spend- 
ing money, in dancing, in novel reading, in swearing, 
and in all the vices common to the present times ? 
You may rejoice in these things for a short time, but 
judgment is coming. God will bring you to judgment 
for these things. 


On the streets, reeling along the highways, are 
drunkards, who were once fast young men. In yonder 
prison are men, void of understanding, who are reap- 
ing the woes, sorrows, and pangs of a fast life. 

Oh ! hear the word of God : " Fool, this night thy 
soul shall be required of thee. " ' ' Rejoice, young man, 
in thy youth ; and walk in the ways of thine heart, and 
in the sight of thine eyes ; but know thou, that for all 
these tilings God will bring thee into judgment." Of 
what avail your rejoicing, when it will be followed with 
tears and sorrow ? Yes, judgment is coming. Does 
not your conscience speak of it ? The Bible declares 
it. Soon, very soon, you will stand at the judgment 
seat of Christ, to render an account of your fast living, 
and your neglect of God. Two years ago, on a New 
Jersey pond, several young men were seen skating. 
All withdrew but one. He was gliding smoothly on, 
stroke after stroke The ice still kept cracking. " Oh, 
hey! for mercy's sake, come off!" cried his friends. 
"One more round," he shouted back. See how fast 
he passes the curves ! And, lo ! crash ! goes the ice. 
He sinks beneath it, to rise no more. Oh, young man, 
will you halt now, or go on one more round, and sink- 
to ruin ? Behold, the very grave is open to receive you. 
Disease may already be lurking in your frail body; the 
arrow of death may even now be pointed at you. Will 
you not repent, that you may rejoice in Christ, and in 
the hope of heaven? If you must be fast, be fast in 
the right direction ; be fast toward bettering your 
body and soul, and toward bettering society. Be 
last toward heaven and God. 


In every age there are great questions to be set- 
tled; great questions which appeal to individuals, 
cities, and nations. Future welfare depends largely 
on making the right choice when the crisis comes. 
Judea had the choice of accepting or rejecting Christ; 
she rejected him, she made a bad choice, and conse- 
quently her cities were laid waste, and her people scat- 
tered to the four corners of the earth. Rome had a 
choice presented to her ; the choice of tyranny or 
liberty. A long train of abuses and usurpations had 
ripened the land for a broader civilization. Had she 
accepted liberty, her peace would have been assured ; 
her speech, press, and pulpit would have been untram- 
meled, and a pure Christianity would now be flourish- 
ing over the graves of martyrs and apostles ; but alas, 
the wrong choice was made, and Rome is still in pov- 
erty, ignorance, bondage and superstition. In 1776 
the American colonies had a choice presented to them. 
The persecutions of the Puritans, the voyage of the 
Mayflower, the love for freedom of speech, worship, 
and the press, an unjust taxation without representa- 
tion, and continued oppression stirred the heart and 
fired the brain for liberty. If our forefathers had not 
decided the issue by words, by tears, by arms, and by 

prayers, we to-day might have been subject to the 




J**_^-. Intemperance 


Queen, with her pensioned favorites and her aristoc- 
racy. Another choice came in i860. Should our 
citizens wipe the stain of slavery from the skirts of 
their country? The musket flashed, the cannon 
boomed, the rockets flew, the fife and drum cheered, 
until the slave was set free, and the flag of the free 
heart's hope and home moved over North and South 
as a people one and undivided. 

1 o-day, crises, formidable in appearance and great in 
power, are upon us. Politics has become corrupt. The 
ballot-box is stuffed, unfair counts are made, votes of 
the intemperate and vicious are bought by ambitious 
demagogues. Men of wealth and political influence, 
without regard to fitness or character, are elected to 
fill public offices. The press, by publishing the crimes 
of the vicious, has become an avenue to debase and 
pollute the mind. Its editorials are too frequently 
written for money and influence, and not for principle, 
right, and truth. Wealth has fallen into the coffers of 
the few to the impoverishing of the many. How to 
check the formation of gigantic trusts which control 
trade and crush out individual enterprise, is a momen- 
tous question. How to induce men of wealth to give 
their fortunes to establish and endow public institu- 
tions, is of equal moment. How to lessen the amount 
of crime is another great question. How to modify 
immigration so that the virtuous and thrifty and honest 
will come, instead of the pauper, the thief, and the 
ex-convict, is another question of great importance to 
citizen and statesman. How to check anarchism and 
socialism are questions still to be settled. How to 
keep Roman Catholicism from interfering with our 
liberties and free institutions, are questions of far 


more importance than Protestants are wont to con- 
sider. How to lessen intemperance, abolish the saloon, 
and wipe out drunkenness from our land, are long 
standing and undecided questions. How to check the 
spread of infidelity and disregard for the Bible, for 
Christ, and for the Lord's day ; and how to win the 
ignorant millions amongst us to the Lord, are questions 
of importance. Where are the men and women for 
this work? Who are the giants in body, soul, and 
mind who will move to the front and overpower these 
uncircumcised Philistines? Who will decide and settle 
these great issues for the right and for God ? The 
crises are coming ! aye, they are here ! Who will 
arise at the country's call, at humanity's cry, at God's 
call, and begin the conflict ? 

The young men and women who are coming on the 
stage of activity are the hosts who are to conquer the 
enemies and to possess the land for Christ. 

Certain heroic traits of character, certain graces of 
spirit, certain endowments of body and intellect are 
needed in order to settle these great questions. Let 
us consider some of these traits of character which 
young men and women need, that they may success- 
fully settle these great issues which the men and 
women of to-day will eventually resign to them. 


The body and spirit are partners ; they should be 
the best of friends ; abuse the one, and the other is 
abused. Make the body a habitation of lust, and you 
tarnish the spirit. Strong intellects demand strong 
bodies. The engine and machinery which pump water 


into the large reservoirs of our great cities are well 
set in strong foundations ; were the foundations made 
of rickety wood instead of solid masonry, they would 
soon be torn asunder. So it is with the intellect ; it de- 
mands a strong body for its mighty thought and work. 
The body must be kept in the best possible condition, 
that it may be ever ready to serve the soul. The 
driver and plowman know the necessity of keeping the 
horse in excellent trim in order to get the best service 
from him ; the horse must neither be pampered, 
starved, nor overworked. Mechanics must keep their 
tools in good condition in order to do good work ; so 
must men and women keep their bodies healthy, their 
muscles developed, and their digestion good, in order 
to do good work with brain or hand. We should care 
for our bodies as we would care for the horse or serv- 
ant whose service we highly value. We should not 
despise the body any more than we despise the foun- 
dations of the house, or the roots which support, 
strengthen, and give life to the tree. The exercise, 
development and health of the body should always be 
kept in view. In public schools and colleges there 
should be gymnasiums and teachers, and children 
should be required to exercise from a half-hour to an 
hour every day. This is a branch of study which is 
sadly neglected ; and children often return from school 
crooked-backed, dyspeptic, pale, and careworn, because 
they have paid too little attention to the care, develop- 
ment and health of the body. 

Every town and city should have a good gymna- 
sium, where boys and girls, men and women could 
exercise and develop their bodies. If possible, in 
every home, there should be an amateur gymnasium. 


A set of Indian clubs, dumb-bells, pulleys, swing, and 
jumping ropes can be had for five dollars ; all should 
be had, and regularly used. Such exercises would 
tone up the body, redden the cheeks, circulate the 
blood, lengthen life, strengthen the brain, and save 
numerous aches and doctor bills. Bathing, running, 
rowing, hunting, riding, walking, deep breathing in the 
open and pure air, furnish rest to the mind, and strength 
to the body. Nearly all of our great men devote much 
time to the care and exercise of the body. Nearly 
every month our chief executive takes a couple of days' 
rest from his various duties, and spends the time in 
driving, visiting, boating, and the like. Gladstone, 
the famous statesman, so widely known for his numer- 
ous achievements, is a great walker, swimmer and 
driver ; he frequently takes an ax and chops down a 
forest tree. 

If you would have brain power, keep your body in 
excellent condition. If you would have a vigorous 
constitution, buoyancy of spirit, elasticity of step, and 
brightness of eye, build up your body in regular and 
temperate habits of eating, drinking and exercise. 
If you would have health, rosy, bouncing health, for 
heroic efforts and manly enterprise, keep your body 
uninjured by bad habits and unweakened by indulgences. 
If you would have sleep, sound and refreshing sleep, 
sleep which rests, soothes and strengthens, give the 
body plain food, pure water, and plenty of exercise. 
If you would aid in adjusting the great questions of the 
age, keep strong in body. 



Every question of state, navy, school, church, or 
government; every business, every profession, and 
every industry demand young men of brain power. Well 
trained and strorlg minds are needed in every department 
of life. The world is needing young men and women who 
are not content with ignorance ; who are not con- 
tent to pass through life with a mind void of useful 
knowledge ; who are not content with an education 
limited to writing, reading, and arithmetic; and who 
are not content with a knowledge of only one business. 
Some one said : ' ' Know all about one thing, and some- 
thing about everything else." No one should limit his 
education to one particular calling. If he does, he will 
be ignorant of all about him, and lack sympathy with 
others "An eminent author was once sent to a field 
for a cow which his practical wife had purchased, and 
he drove home a stately ox." In this age of newspa- 
pers, books, libraries, lectures, churches, and schools, 
no one need remain in ignorance. <: One hour a day 
of careful reading from wise authors will, in ten years, 
make a man wise." Would you fill useful positions in 
society, train your mental powers. Would you be 
happy, make others happy, cultivate your mental 
powers. Would you wisely decide the great questions 
of life, cultivate your mental powers. Would you be 
sought, and have influence over the men and women 
around you, cultivate your mental powers. Would you 
make a success in business, in home, and in society, 
cultivate your mental powers. Would you be able to 
understand the rocks, trees, flowers, planets, and men, 


cultivate your mental powers. Would you be dissatis- 
fied with that which is low, base, and groveling, culti- 
vate your mental powers. Let not poverty hinder you ; 
Benjamin Franklin was in early life a poor ragged boy; 
he walked the streets of Philadelphia in poverty, and 
dined on a penny roll, Let not physical infirmity hin- 
der you ; Homer was blind, and Demosthenes had a 
stoppage in his speech. Let not humble birth hinder 
you ; Estey, the famous organ man, was given away in 
his early days. Let not your business hinder you, and 
absorb all your time and thought; Elihu Burritt, while 
a blacksmith, studied and mastered more languages 
than any other living man. What was it that took 
Sir Matthew Hale out of obscurity, and elevated him 
to be a wise, famous, and incorruptible judge ? Mental 
power. What was it that took Daniel Webster from 
the old farm, and made him the foremost orator of the 
world ? Mental power. What was it that took Garfield 
from the tow-path to the White House ? Mental 
power. What was it that took Edison from a news- 
boy on a train to become the world's greatest inventor? 
Mental power. What was it that made Moses wise 
and learned in all the courts of Egypt? Mental power. 
What was it that made Daniel a favorite in Nebuchad- 
nezzar's kingdom ? Mental power. What was it that 
made Solomon the wisest man in the world? Mental 
power. What was it that enabled Paul to make gov- 
ernors tremble and kings quail ? Mental power. Men- 
tal power, applied mental power, wisely-directed mental 
power, is mightier than money, birth, blood, and 
armies. Young men who possess it are wanted for 
merchants, bankers, farmers, mechanics, authors, edi- 
tors, lawyers, doctors, diplomatists, and preachers. 


Young men and women must possess mental power 
if they would grapple with the great questions of the 
age, and settle for man and God the critical issues of 
the day. 


What merchant wants a dishonest clerk to sell his 
goods ? What banker wants a dishonest cashier to 
count his money ? What corporation wants a dishonest 
treasurer, with whom to intrust its funds ? What wife 
wants a dishonest servant to handle her food, clothes, 
and cutler}' ? What church wants a dishonest preacher 
to proclaim the word of God? What city wants a dis- 
honest mayor, or what State a dishonest governor, to 
foster its interests and to execute its laws ? The world 
needs men who are great in honesty more than it needs 
men who are great in politics, great in statesmanship, 
and great in authorship. An honest man, be he rich 
or poor, karned or ignorant, is great — great in heart 
and character, and great in sight of men, angels, and 
God. A man of honesty is wholesome in thought, just 
in word, and manly in deed. He lives in it, he loves 
it, and is full of it. He is invincible to swords, mus- 
kets, and cannons. Praises, money bribes, are re- 
sisted by him. Bolts and bars, jails and peniten- 
tiaries are not made for honest men. Ballot-boxes 
are corrupted, votes bought, trust betrayed, and society 
plundered, but not by honest men. Honesty is good 
stock in trade, it is a firm foundation-stone, it is a 
crowning excellence, and a true friend to all who pos- 
sess it. Better remain poor and honest than to have 
wealth which is accumulated at the expense of honesty. 


Better remain in obscurity and be honest, than to rise to 
Congress at the expense of honesty. Choose honesty 
always, policy never. Men of honesty are in demand, 
while men of policy are shunned. Men of policy, men 
who are sleek-tongued and smile-faced, are after their 
own good ; they seek votes, influence, and friendship 
for selfish interests. Honesty is an eternal principle of 
right, and has no part with policy. Honesty is fair, 
good, just, and right ; policy is false, a stratagem, and 
a pretense. Honesty speaks the truth ; policy con- 
ceals part of the truth. Honesty represents things as 
they are ; policy as they should be. Honesty pleads 
the case for principle and right; policy for the fee. 
Honesty visits the patient so long as he needs attention, 
policy so long as a bill can be made. Honesty edits 
the truth ; policy edits what caters to the public ear. 
Honesty writes facts ; policy writes what will tickle the 
ear. Honest men are religious for the benefit of the 
soul, society, and the Master's cause ; politic men are 
religious for trade, votes, and influence. Honest men 
are pure, without and within ; policy men are seem- 
ingly pure without, and rotten at the core. 

What caused Arnold to turn traitor ? Dishonesty. 
What cursed Aaron Burr's great talents and magnifi- 
cent opportunities ? Dishonesty. What caused the 
arrest and imprisonment of Tweed ? Dishonesty. 
Why did Washington place Alexander Hamilton at 
the head of the Treasury Department ? Because of his 
honesty of character and integrity in business. Why 
was Benjamin Franklin trusted to represent the inter- 
ests of the united colonies in the court of France ? 
Because of his honesty of character. Why was Paul 
chosen to carry the gospel to the Gentiles? Because 


he was a man of honesty of mind, heart, and purpose. 
Why did Christian martyrs suffer imprisonment, pun- 
ishment, stocks, stakes, gibbets, and fires ? Because 
of honest convictions. O honesty, thou art a jewel ; 
thou art the center of all love ; thou art the fountain of 
all beauty ! From every direction, our country calls for 
honest young men ; honest, frank, straightforward 
young men ; young men who will neither cheat, lie, 
nor equivocate ; young men who will stand the fierce 
heat of competition, the storms of trade, and battle for 
bread, without breaking in moral character ; young 
men who will be honest to themselves, to their homes, 
to their fellow-men, to their business, and to their God. 


Courage, undaunted courage to plan well and to 
execute boldly; courage to use the body and brain for 
high and noble purposes ; courage to speak the truth, 
to face the wrong, to be just, and to resist temptation ; 
courage to encounter dangers, to face mobs, to over- 
come difficulties, and to defy the prejudice of the mul- 
titude of wrong thinkers and doers. The world owes 
some of its greatest inventions, discoveries, arts, 
science, books, and enterprises to men of courage. 
Socrates was condemned to drink the deadly hemlock 
because his teachings ran counter to the spirit of the 
age. Galileo, with a newly invented telescope, as- 
cended the tower of St. Mark in Venice ; he surveyed 
the heavens, he discovered planets, stars, and their 
operations ; with great delight he wrote about these 
discoveries ; they were at such variance with the teach- 
ings of the age, that he was summoned to Rome to 


answer before the Inquisition for his heretical teachings. 
On bended knees he was compelled to renounce his 
teachings. On leaving the cardinals he muttered, 
" Notwithstanding, the world moves." He afterward 
had the courage to teach, write and publish his dis- 
coveries to the world. Columbus believed that the 
earth was round ; the priests declared that it was flat, 
or else all men could not have descended from Adam. 
Columbus was branded as a fool and heretic, but he 
had the courage, in spite of numerous failures, to carry- 
out his designs. Arkwright, the builder of the cotton 
loom, was denounced as an enemy to the workingman ; 
his first machine was torn down, but he had the cour- 
age to build another, and lived to see great results from 
his invention. 

Thousands of men and women have had the cour- 
age to face dangers and death rather than give up 
their love for Christ. For the courage of faith, Daniel 
defied the unchangeable law of the Medes and Per- 
sians. For the courage of faith, the three Hebrew 
children would not worship the golden image, and 
feared not to be cast into the fiery furnace. The cour- 
age of faith, led Joshua to victory. The courage of 
faith enabled Paul to encounter perils on land and on 
sea, and from Jews and infidels. Single-handed and 
alone, many Christians have had the courage to 
give their bodies to be burned at the stake, or slain 
by the sword, rather than to deny Christ. Gentle 
women have had the unflinching courage to give their 
all in this life rather than give up their hope for the 
life to come. Was it not the courage of faith which 
stirred up Luther to go to the diet at Worms, though 
the demons surrounded him as thick as the tiles on 


the houses? Was it not the courage of principle 
which led Wilberforce to take up truth against the 
slave trade of England? Was it not the courage of 
sympathy which led John Howard to spend his life 
and fortune in bringing about prison reform ? Was it 
not the courage of right and liberty which led Wash- 
ington to engage in war? Was it not the courage of 
compassion which led Miss Carpenter and Mrs. Fry to 
visit the prisoners, and read to them the old, old story of 
Jesus and his love ? Was it not the courage of tem- 
perance that led Mrs. R. B. Hayes to oppose the long- 
established custom of serving wine at the White House 
receptions, to banish it from the White House, and to 
advocate temperance reform? The world to-day is 
calling for young men and women of courage, with 
the courage of right, courage of truth, courage of 
principle, and courage of faith. In the every-day 
trials of the common life, men of courage are needed. 
They are needed on the railroad, on the farm, on the 
sea, in the shop, and in the home ; they are needed to 
oppose false fashions, renounce pernicious customs, 
and to elevate and ennoble humanity. 


Conscience is that faculty which condemns or ap- 
proves, which enables us to discern between right and 
wrong Without this faculty well exercised men be- 
come like wild engines, rushing madly to destruction. 
Voltaire and Paine had intellect, but no conscience. 
Men of great ambition, but without conscience, have 
plunged nations into war, and filled lands with poverty, 
woe, widows and orphans, debt, and disgrace. Men 


with educated and enlightened conscience are needed i-n 
the colleges, churches, stores, and factories. Young 
men and women are needed who are strong in godli- 
ness, downright genuine godliness ; not hypocrites, 
who for a pretense make long prayers ; not bigots, 
who persecute all who are true and faithful; not creed 
lovers, who prefer to obey the commands of men to 
the Word of God ; not formalists, who have the form 
of godliness without the power. All the great ques- 
tions of reform in church and State need young men 
and women who are lovers of God and lovers of Christ, 
and who are not ashamed to own them before the 

Without pure religion in the soul, men have troubles, 
without the oil of joy ; sorrow, without comfort ; 
despondency, without hope ; and darkness, without 
light. Without Christ in the heart, men live for time 
and for the earth — things which pass away and corrode 
in the very hands of the possessors. Without Christ 
in the heart, men are like watches without main-springs 
— they have no central power by which they can adjust 
difficulties, no rule to be their infallible guide, and no 
hope to urge them onward and upward. Since the 
great reformation in religion, since science and art have 
lifted their light on the nations, the majority of the 
world's greatest and grandest men have been Chris- 
tians. Seven-eighths of the scientists, from Faust, the 
inventor of printing, down to Davy, the great chemist, 
have been adorers of God and believers in the Bible. 
Seven-eighths of the great authors, from Roger Bacon, 
of the thirteenth century, down to Longfellow, have 
been followers of Christ. Seven-eighths of the world's 
great orators, from John Knox down to Webster, 


have been Christians. All the Presidents of the 
United States, save one, have been believers in God 
and the inspiration of the Scriptures. Since the refor- 
mation an overwhelming majority of the generals, 
kings, poets, scholars, scientists, philosophers, authors, 
statesmen, and educators hav^ been believers in the 
gospel as the power of God unto salvation. Is it not 
the height of folly and the madness of ignorance to 
resist what the world's truest, bravest, and best firmly 
believe? In favor of Christ is history, wisdom, reason, 
love, and the Scriptures. On the side of Christ are 
the golden gems which adorn the character — truth, 
mercy, justice, honesty, purity, chastity, peace, and 

Young men and women, the world is needing you, 
needing you who are strong in body, strong in hon- 
esty, strong in courage, and strong in godliness. If 
you have patriotism, man and God ask you to use it as 
did Washington, to save our country, and not as Arnold, 
to betray it. If you have the genius of authorship, 
man and God ask you to consecrate it, as did Milton, 
to elevate humanity, and not as Byron, to pollute the 
sense. If you have the power of making wealth, 
man and God ask you to use it, as did Cooper and 
Howard, to bless humanity, and not as Gould, to grat- 
ify selfish ambition. If you have the gift of states- 
manship, use it as did Henry in wiping treason and 
corruption from the country, and not like the common 
politician, to prostitute that gift to the gain of office 
and wealth. If you have the God-given power of elo- 
quence, consecrate it, as did Knox, Luther, and Whit- 
field, to save souls, and not as Ingersoll, to the cause 
of Satan and infidelity. 


You will handle the merchandise, teach the schools, 
control the industries, direct the energies, educate the 
intellect, execute the law, and preach the gospel in 
the next decade. Are you preparing to do this ? Are 
you strong enough in body, mind, and spirit to enter 
upon the great duties of settling human disputes, of 
overthrowing trusts and monopolies, of rooting out 
tyranny and anarchism, of purifying the ballot-box, of 
sweeping back the tide of infidelity, of checking in- 
temperance and crime, of unfurling the banner of Christ 
and of possessing this noble, beautiful and fair land for 
honor and for God? Be strong in body, mind, hon- 
esty, courage and piety, and the victory will be yours. 




Give attention to reading. — Paul. 

Books are sepulchers of thought. — Longfellow. 

When all the world turns to dross around us. these only 
retain their steady value. — Irving. 

A good book is the precious life blood of a master spirit. 

Come, my best friends, my books ; and lead me on. — 

In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their 
most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. 
God be thanked for books. — Channing. 

Reading maketh a full man ; conference, a ready man ; 
and writing, an exact man. — Bacon. 

She who has no taste for well written books will often 
be at a loss how to spend her time; and the consequences of 
such a state are too frequent not to be known, and too fatal 
not to be dreaded. — Knox. 

Books are the food of youth ; the delight of old age ; 
the ornament of prosperity; the refuge and comfort of ad- 
versity ; a delight at home, and no hindrance abroad ; com- 
panions by night, in traveling, in the country. — Cicero. 

Books are our most steadfast friends ; they are a resource 
in loneliness ; they journey with us; they await cur return ; 
they are our best company ; they are a refuge in pain ; they 
breathe peace upon our troubles ; they await age as ministers 
of youth and cheer ; they bring the whole world to our feet; 
the}- summon us away from our narrow life to their great- 
ness ; from our ignorance to their wisdom; from our partial 
and distempered vision to their color and impartial ver- 
dicts. — Hunger. 


Give Attention to Reading. — This is the exhortation 
which Paul gave to Timothy, who was just entering 
upon his life work. This piece of advice is applicable 
to all young men, whether they be ministers, physicians, 
lawyers, merchants, artists, mechanics, or farmers. 

In early ages books were scarce and expensive; 
they were written on boards, on parchments, and on 
leaves of trees. The}/' were written by scribes, and 
consequently were very costly. The school-teacher's 
library of to-day is a much more elaborate affair than 
that of the sages of those periods. Aristotle had to 
pay three thousand dollars for several books. Plato 
paid a thousand dollars for three small volumes. The 
art of printing changed all of this. John Faust brought 
out the printing press, which worked a new era in the 
promotion of knowledge. There are now thousands of 
books at prices within the reach of the poorer classes. 
This is truly an age of reading. Newspapers of all 
kinds are in circulation. The first newspaper was pub- 
lished in England in the year 1622; in 1704, the Bos- 
ton News Letter commenced regular weekly issues ; it 
was a half-sheet, eight inches by twelve, with two 
columns, one on each side. From this small begin- 
ning the American newspaper enterprise has grown 
until one New York daily boasts of printing over three 
thousand miles of white paper every month, a single 
issue consuming twenty-five tons of paper. 

The slow post-rider and the slower packet-ship 
brought the news in the old days. Now the telegraph 
brings into a newspaper office as many as thirty thou- 
sand words of news in a single day, The annual cir- 
culation of newspapers in the United States alone ex- 
ceeds fifteen hundred million copies. 


"Of the making of many books there is no end." 
England issues about five thousand, and the United 
States about twenty thousand new books every year. 
Fred. D. Power says : 

"This is an age of books. Our librarian will show 
you seven hundred thousand volumes and two hundred 
thousand pamplets, loading the shelves and littering 
the floors of the congested Congressional Library, and 
yet from fifteen to twenty thousand additions are made 
yearly. The new library building is to accommodate 
four millions. The world's progress may be marked 
by this business of book-making. When scholasticism 
ruled the institutions of learning, and bigotry declared 
ignorance to be the mother of devotion, books were 
treasures beyond the reach of the multitude. To-day 
the boy who blacks the thinker's boots may, with the 
dime that pays for the shine, buy the most brilliant 
thoughts of the thinker. Every man is admitted for 
a trifling entrance fee to the holiest secrets of the human 


The reading of a single book has often opened an 
avenue of great interest, which conducted the reader 
into a special investigation, and changed the course of 
his life. Franklin said: "The reading of one good 
book aroused me and made me what I am." The 
reading of Ruskin's books gave Beecher new ideas of 
nature. The reading of Mr. Young's Thoughts on 
Night gave new life to Garfield. Five minutes read- 
ing in a book which was entitled "The History of the 
Waldenses " eventually led General Beckwith to move 
to their country and wed one of their industrious 


In reading books one's ambitions may be stirred, 
and new lines of thought may be awakened, which 
may change one's subsequent life. Many men who 
have been deprived of university educations have be- 
come well informed and led to greatness by the read- 
ing of good books. 

Self taught was Grote, the eminent historian ; Prof. 
Sophocles, the master of Byzantine literature ; Mr. 
Palmer, professor of Arabic at Cambridge Univer- 
sity ; Franklin, the great philosopher ; Laplace, the 
great mathematician ; Herschel, the great astronomer, 
and Burritt, the great linguist. Some of the best work 
done in all departments of literature and in every 
branch of science has been performed by men who 
owed nothing to universities. 

The importance and advantages of good reading 
are many. 

7/ saves from ignorance. One never knows when 
his store of knowledge is to be drawn upon, or what 
knowledge will be needed. It is humiliating to be 
in society and not be able to enjoy or engage in con- 
versing upon interesting and elevating topics. Read- 
ing saves from bigotry and superstition, visionary 
delusions, and groundless fears. It gives liberality of 
opinion, and candor and forbearance toward those who 
differ in belief and opinion. In a recent address our 
Congressional Librarian said : 

I sit in my study; I am just from the paved streets of a 
modern city, but in a moment I rest with Adam among the 
shades of Eden, I am in the tent of Abraham, I listen to 
Paul on Mars Hill, or I hear the roar of the ^gean Sea, and 
look into the face of the last of the apostles; I behold the 
pyramids rising on the Nile; I am before the walls of Troy; 
I am in company with Marcus Aurelius, or I sit and listen 


in the Roman Forum ; I consult Emerson about art, I ask 
Shakespeare his views of death, I hobnob with Addison, or 
I find myself in familiar intercourse with the Laureate ; I 
am journe\nng with Christian in By-Path Meadow, I hear 
the shouts of the Crusaders, I am shuddering with the An- 
cient Mariner, or am laughing at the rats tumbling into the 
Weser ; I am studjnng with George the single tax business, 
or worrying with Salisbury over the modus videndi, or saying 
to myself, " Bravo, Parkhurst ! " or even amusing myself 
with the political gyrations of " Dave Hill." The type 
brings all these visions before me at a single sitting within 
my four walls, and my company any man may command. 

Reading contributes to happiness. But few joys com- 
pare with that of holding sweet converse with lofty 
spirits. An author of good report says : "I no sooner 
come into the library, but I bolt the door to me, ex- 
cluding Lust, Ambition, Avarice, and all such vices, 
whose nurse is Idleness, the mother of Ignorance and 
Melancholy. In the very lap of eternity, among so 
many divine souls, I take my seat with so lofty a spirit 
and sweet content that I pity all that know not this 

Bacon says : " Studies serve for delight, for orna- 
ment, and for ability. " 

Hood says: " All who have ever had access to the 
portals of learning will easily estimate the power of the 
fascination and the charm of books ; a charm which 
lasts us our whole life through, arresting our boyhood, 
even in the midst of our sports, by the spell of novelty, 
by the attractions of fable and history, of legend and 
heroism, of strength and poetry. In youth and man- 
hood reciting the grand romances of science, or follow- 
ing the fairy lights of the more rudimental lessons of 
knowledge. Sick and world weary, we invoke the 


kindly voice of wife and daughter to break the monot- 
ony of the sick chamber, and read to us; or when age 
films over the orbs of vision, and our glasses are a 
weariness to us, how pleasant the presence of one who 
will come to us with the cheerful book." 

Beechersays: " Your sources of enjoyment when 
you are old will be those which you cultivate in youth. 
And there is nothing for which old men ought to be 
more grateful than that they have early cultivated the 
habit of study. What sight is more piteous than that 
of a man who is past work, and has never had a relish 
for reading." 

Good reading supports us under solitude, keeps life 
from being a burden, helps us to forget the peevish- 
ness of men, allays our passions and composes our 
cares. Good books are friends who never quarrel, 
never complain, and are never false or troublesome. 
The man who loveth a good book loveth a faithful 
friend, a cheerful companion, and a wise and happy 

Reading strengthens the mind. The mind, like the 
body, requires nourishment. We adopt the opinions 
and imitate the examples and conform to the senti- 
ments and habits of those with whom we hold familiar 
intercourse through the medium of literature. Read- 
ing makes the intelligent mind more intelligent. It 
distinguishes the civilized nations from the savage. 
Through this channel can be traced the progress of 
science and art and the productions of the human mind 
from barbarism to refinement. By this can be com- 
pared the state of ancient and modern literature as well 
as ancient and modern customs. By the help of books 
we can sit at ease and travel through all nations, view 


the courts of kings and the employments of men. The 
reading of several good books on any subject is equiva- 
lent to hearing it discussed by an assembly of wise 
men. Macaulay tells us how good books guided him 
to truth ; filled his mind with noble images ; comforted 
him in sorrow ; nursed him in sickness, and stood by 
him in all vicissitudes. There was no society more 
agreeable to him at the dinner table than the company 
of his books. 

Gibbon declared that he would not exchange his 
love for reading for all the treasures of India. Charles 
Lamb said that he wished to ask a grace before read- 
ing more than before dinner. 

Reading saves from temptation. Idleness is a great 
bane. Temptations assail the idle man. Hilliard said: 
" The ruin of most men dates from some vacant hour. 
Occupation is the armor of the soul ; and the train of 
idleness is borne up by all the vices. I remember a 
satirical poem, in which the devil is represented as fish- 
ing for men, and adapting his baits to the tastes and 
temperaments of his prey ; but the idler, he said, pleased 
him the most, because he bit the naked hook. To a 
young man away from home, friendless and forlorn in 
a great city, the hours of peril are those between sun- 
set and bed- time ; for the moon and stars see more evil 
in one hour's time than the sun in a whole day's circuit. 
The poet's visions of evening are all compact of ten 
der and soothing images. It brings the wanderer to 
his home, the child to his mother's arms, the ox to his 
stall, and the weary laborer to his rest. But to the 
gentle-hearted youth who is thrown upon the rocks of 
a pitiless city, and stands 'homeless amid a thousand 
homes,' the approaching evening brings with it an 


aching sense of loneliness and desolation, which comes 
down upon the spirit like darkness upon the earth. In 
this mood his best impulses become a snare to him; 
and he is led astray because he is social, affectionate, 
sympathetic, and warm-hearted. If there be a young 
man thus circumstanced, let me say to him that books 
are the friends of the friendless, and that a library is 
the home of the homeless. A taste for reading will 
always carry you into the best possible company, and 
enable you to converse with men who will instruct you 
by their wisdom, and charm you by their wit ; who 
will soothe you when fretted, refresh you when weary, 
counsel you when perplexed, and sympathize with you 
at all times. " Those who love to commune with the 
minds of great men will never complain of the tedi- 
ousness of time, will never entertain temptations 
to do low and base things, and will never be a bore to 

Reading acquaints its with the past. It acquaints 
us with the events of ancient and modern times, with 
the history of science, education, government, and re- 
ligion. From books we can acquire all the knowledge 
and experience of our predecessors, who by unwearied 
diligence have perpetuated the fruits of their labors and 
observations by recording them in books and handing 
them down to posterity. A man with a taste for study, 
and advantages to gratify this taste, is always with the 
best society in all periods of past history, and with the 
learned men of his own age ; with the association of 
such, the character should develope to the highest 
degree. By the help of the great thinkers of the past 
we can survey other planets, read the observations of 
astronomers, receive exalted ideas of the immensity 


of creation, and learn of the infinite wisdom and power 
of our Creator. 

Reading makes us humble. In the study of history 
where we see the proud abased, cities devastated, kings 
conquered, armies routed, ships burned, the rich made 
poor, and the poor exalted, many valuable lessons of 
humility are taught. Hilliard says: "It teaches les- 
sons of humility, patience, and submission. When we 
read of realms smitten with the scourge of famine and 
pestilence, or strewn with the bloody ashes of war; of 
grass growing in the streets of great cities ; of ships 
rotting at the wharves ; of fathers burying their sons ; of 
strong men begging their bread ; of fields untilled, and 
silent work-shops, and despairing countenances, — we 
hear a voice of rebuke to our own clamorous sorrows 
and peevish complaints. We learn that pain and suf- 
fering and disappointment are a part of God's provi- 
dence, and that no contract was ever yet made with 
man by which virtue should secure to him temporal 

Reading prepares for society. Is there a better ac- 
complishment in society than the art of pleasing in 
conversation ? To effectually and continually do this 
it is absolutely necessary to have a well informed mind. 
Such a mind, with modesty and good nature, will cer- 
tainly procure respect and esteem. Mental charms are 
far preferable to millinery charms. The one is eter- 
nal, the other is transient. Conversation must be dull 
where the mind is empty. Company must be disagree- 
able if uninformed and given to garrulity and frivolous 

Reading prepares for travel. In travel there are 
numerous opportunities to use knowledge to advantage. 


After reading descriptions of countries and places, they 
are viewed with a livelier interest. An ignorant spec- 
tator will see the beautiful and sublime without emo- 
tion and enjoyment, but intelligent travelers will sur- 
vey natural curiosities in every country they visit with 
particular pleasure. "Every place they visit, which is 
memorable for some famous exploit, some remarkable 
event, or for giving birth to some person of eminent 
talents, will excite corresponding sensations or reflec- 
tions. A picture will not fail to please even those who 
have no taste for painting. Being conversant with 
books, the subject which has employed the pencil of 
the artist will occur to their recollection ; and they 
will perceive, perhaps at one glance, that it is either 
taken from ancient or modern history. They can com- 
pare the representation of the painter with the descrip- 
tion of the poet, and thus afford a varied entertainment 
to the mind." 

Reading gives tonic for the duties of life. No mat- 
ter how deep are the troubles of life, how strong the 
tides of adversity, reading will contribute a goodly 
share to lessen the burdens and give rest. Before en- 
tering any important work, some magnetizing book 
should be read till the mind glows, then there will be a 
genuine tonic for the whole day. From them we learn 
to sustain adversity with fortitude, because they fur- 
nish us with wise precepts and useful examples adapted 
to every condition of life. From them we learn what 
to imitate and what to avoid. Reading warns us of 
the errors of our ancestors, and reminds us of their 
virtues ; it expels the gloom of solitude, and fills the 
mind with purity and the heart with cheerfulness. 

Reading protects virtue. It enables the young to 

READING. 21 1 

enact their part with firmness, and prepares them for 
their appearance on the busy stage of life; "for the 
man who is armed with the books he loves is indepen- 
dent of all other companionship and pleasures." The 
characters of vice and virtue are strongly portrayed in 
good books, and by reading them there is timely warn- 
ing given to avoid the vicious and cultivate the virtuous. 
By reading the young can learn of the caprice of fash- 
ion, of the folly of pride, and of dangerous amuse- 
ments, and being " forwarned is forearmed." "Must 
a woman learn," says Dr. Fordyce, "how to defend 
herself against danger, by having felt its bitterness, by 
entering into any company that tempts, engaging in any 
friendship that offers, or accepting of almost any crea- 
ture that happens to court her ? A female who acts 
upon this plan is lost; and she who would effectually 
escape dishonor and remorse, reproach and ridicule, 
must endeavor to know the world from aid of books, 
to collect experience from those who bought it, and to 
shun misconduct herself by observing the calamities it 
has occasioned others. " The habit of reading until one 
has made it a necessity of his life is one of the defenses 
of virtue. When one's appetite is formed it takes 
away from him the necessity of accepting what com- 
pany he can find, "and such excitements as may happen 
to be in his neighborhood. 

Reading is especially useful to the poor. Wealth 
will, to some extent, make friends and give entrance to 
society. The poor can derive equal, yes, more satis- 
factory enjoyment from books. In the hours of soli, 
tude and rest from business, this should be their main 
resource. Reading will lift them above their surround- 
ings, and give them refinement and luxury of mind. It 


will give the poor man more lasting riches, — riches 
which can not be stolen or lost. There are societies to 
which a poor and scholarly man can belong, but in 
which a wealthy and ignorant man can take no part. 
Burton has written: "The knowledge which is ac- 
quired by books is not only ornamental to persons of 
fortune, but is useful also to those whose circumstances 
are not affluent ; for as the last are not able to enter into 
such societies or partake of those amusements which 
are only within the reach of the opulent, they may de- 
rive equal and perhaps more satisfaction from reading. 
In the hours of solitude, and relaxation from business, 
here will be their resource." Reading good books 
speaks favorably for the poor man's character. Judge 
a man by the company he keeps ; also judge him by the 
books he reads. Those who read trashy stories are 
neither stable or earnest in life. Those who read about 
the noble and pure are not likely to descend to the 
base and vile, but have inspirations to be true, good, 
and useful. 


The characters of books are as various as the char- 
acters of people. Some go forth for good, and some 
for evil ; some to bless, and some to curse ; some fill 
the mind with noble aspirations and holy thoughts ; 
others inflame the passions and poison the secret cham- 
bers of the soul. Some prepare the reader for heaven, 
while others allure the soul to hell. 

Such a power abroad in the community, no one can 
regard with indifference Pernicious books have within 
them a force which does much to destroy the benign 
influence of the Sunday-school, undermine family 


religion and impede the progress of the Gospel. A bad 
author in whom a powerful intellect and corrupt heart 
unite, wields an influence mightier than a king; he 
breaks down the strongholds of virtue ; he blastsimmor- 
tal hopes ; he drives God out of the temple. There are 
many books which should be studiously avoided. 

Avoid books which tend to badness. There are books 
which possess plausible reasonings, seductive charms 
and fascinating pictures of life, which captivate the 
reader, and ere he is aware of his danger, he is found 
in an undercurrent which carries its victim into chan- 
nels of sin and iniquity. Books which present only the 
gloomy side of life ; works written by cynics and pes- 
simists; books whose heroes are taken from the slums 
and filth of life; books which present philanthropists 
as cheats, and religious people as hypocrites; books 
filled with the stories of profligates and criminals ; 
books which introduce thieves, murderers and libertines 
into refined society, and claim for them respect instead 
of reprobation, should be studiously avoided. 

Avoid valueless books. There are many books which 
have no aim, and which do no harm and no good. 
They are read to while away heavy hours ; they give 
no food to the mind ; they are next to nothing. Under 
this class come hundreds of the novels which have been 
written during the present century. Such we term 
valueless books, and believe that the world would be 
better off without them. 

Avoid pernicious literature. Under this class we 
name many of the French romances, dime novels, 
police gazettes, weekly story papers, and much of the 
trash that you find piled up in railroad depots and on 
news stands. 


Pernicious writings corrupt the taste. It is as important 
to cultivate a pure taste as it is to establish right prin- 
ciples. If the love for immoral literature is cherished, 
the mind and heart will soon live, move and have its 
being in this realm, while other and profitable litera- 
ture will be neglected. When once a desire for this 
valueless or immoral reading has been formed, there is 
no disposition to withdraw from these scenes which 
fascinate and excite, and to part from the company of 
these vicious heroes to lay up stores of useful knowl- 
edge and to cultivate the taste for solid learning. I 
have noticed particularly the extensive novel reader 
has but little relish for profitable reading. I have seen 
many a youth, for the momentary excitement of the 
pernicious novel, turn away from poetry clothed in 
robes of purity ; essays bearing sentiments of lofty 
character ; history presented in attractive style and 
beautiful imagery ; and rich mines of scientific truths 
written in simplicity and strengthened with beautiful 
illustrations. Shall our young men and women be so 
foolish as to sell their birthrights for a mess of pot- 
tage ? Shall they lightly esteem that which has cost 
the toil and industry of centuries ? Shall they pollute 
their taste, weaken their intellects and corrupt their 
morals and manners, by reading odious stories pre- 
sented in the garb of virtue, when they have so many 
opportunities to soar amid the grandeurs of astronomy, 
or trace out the lines of divine skill in geology, or study 
the history of the past generations, or familiarize them- 
selves with the great dramas of Shakespeare ? 

Pernicious literature unfits the mind for the practical 
duties of life. It fills the mind with false notions and 
extravagant desires which are never realized. These 


villainous authors do not represent real life, but pander 
to the depraved inclinations and worst passions of men. 
They enlist the sympathy in favor of the libertine and 
the murderer, the skeptic and the blasphemer; they let 
the curtain drop before the storm of Divine vengeance 
is seen gathering, or the fires of hell are seen to flash 
upon the scene. Sometimes they present their heroes 
and heroines walking, mid flowery beds of ease, and 
thereby prepare the souls of their readers for bitter 
disappointment. Many a wife and mother has been 
filled with repinings and murmurings at the allotments 
of providence, because her mind has been poisoned 
by the false views of life which she read in novels. 
She reveled in scenes which never transpired, and 
was dazzled by visions and filled with expecta- 
tions which have no corresponding realities. Life is 
no sickly sentimentalism, or May-day amusement, or 
scene of romantic adventure, or frivolous sport, as pre- 
sented in many of the novels which are being read by 
the youth of our land. Life is earnest. Life is a great 
battle-field in which we have foes to encounter, strug- 
gles to pass through, hardships to endure, battles to 
fight, and victories to win. For its conflicts we want 
something more encouraging than the stories of ficti- 
tious heroes. We need, rather, the biographies of strong 
hearts and willing hands ; we need to read of the in- 
vincible energies, manly qualities and firm principles 
of those who have actually lived. We need the shield 
of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. 

Pernicious reading injiires the tone of the sensibilities. 
Tears which fall over descriptions of fictitious sorrow 
produce fictitious benevolence. Have you ever seen an 
habitual novel reader, after being melted by a tale of 


distress, leave his room and hasten toan abode of prov- 
erty or sorrow, in order to relieve a case of actual want ? 
The sympathies of such do not reach the abodes of 
sickness and distress, and charity is not permitted to 
ripen into deeds of benevolence. Those who cany 
food to the hungry, comfort to the distressed, and 
clothing to the naked, are not inveterate novel readers. 
Suck reading deadens the conscience. It is right to 
have conscience in this as in other things. If we do 
not associate with rogues and robbers, why spend so 
much time in reading about them ? The pernicious 
literature of to-day is a moral pestilence, that " walketh 
in darkness and wasteth at noonday." It seeks to de- 
stroy every noble trait, every refined sentiment, every 
lofty thought, and every pure principle. It makes 
companions dissatisfied with one another, it leads to 
divorce, sin and crime. The authors of such literature 
frequently^presentthe apostates from religion as favorite 
characters, and blindfold their readers until shame ap- 
pears as glory and vice as virtue. Unconscious of the 
dangers that surround them, the young indulge in this 
species of reading until they are ensnared by the se- 
ductive charms of these popular and profligate writers. 
The words of the author fall like sweet music upon the 
ear until the conscience is lulled to rest. His imagery 
plays before the fancy until the affections of the heart 
are captivated. Occasional flashes of lightning may 
startle the conscience, but by and by it becomes blunted 
and seared, the great interests of life neglected, and 
the solemnities of eternity approach for which no pre- 
parations have been made. Young men and women, 
poison not your souls with this pernicious literature, for 


your souls have value that outweighs the stars. Jesus 
died to redeem them. 

Once more : avoid rationalistic literature. Monthly- 
magazines, novels and ponderous volumes are filled 
with it. Formerly we knew it as it appeared in open 
guise, now the wolf comes in sheep's clothing. Bitters 
on the bottle, but whiskey inside. You can 't afford to 
read what blasts your morals and destroys your faith. 
The literary enticements of our time constitute a posi- 
tive threat to the manhood and womanhood of the 
coming generation. All the worst and vilest elements 
of life are pushed forth daily from the press in the at- 
tractive guise of fiction, and become the almost exclu- 
sive nutriment of thousands of young minds. We are 
not disposed to deny that there is much in the form of 
fictitious literature not be condemned ; but the largest 
circulation is accorded to the sensational, sentimental, 
sensual expression of men of corrupt minds, and 
the vagaries of the infidel thought, so attired that they 
may surreptitously make their way into the inner sanc- 
tuaries of uncorrupt nature, and poison the fountain of 
faith. At any cost, our young people should be se- 
cured against this evil literature. Recently a boy ten 
years of age shot his grandfather, and when asked why 
he did it, he confessed his desire to become a hero like 
a boy of whom he had read in a dime novel. A clerk 
stole money from the safe of Ames Plow Co. ; in his 
confession he said it was suggested to him by the ex- 
ploit of a robber of whom he had read. I once knew 
a young man of promise, who graduated with high 
honors. He purchased and read a volume of Inger- 
soll's lectures ; he followed this infidel through en- 
chanted grounds, flowery pathways, and under fleecy 


clouds tinged with rainbow hues, until by magic arts 
and sneering allusions Ingersoll had enlisted his sym- 
pathies, captivated his imagination, and converted him 
to infidelity. I have lived to see the ruin of this young 
man. His career and sad end are sufficient to lead me 
to say, no matter how strong the character, do not take 
this sugar coated pill of atheism and immorality pre- 
pared by Robert G. Ingersoll. 


It is astonishing how little care the majority of peo- 
ple devote to the selection of what they read. Books 
are almost innumerable, and our hours of reading few ; 
yet many people read almost by hazard ; they will bor- 
row a book they chance to find in a friend's house ; they 
will purchase a novel in a railway train ; they will buy 
because it has a striking title or attractive binding; 
they will read a nev/spaper because it has a large cir- 
culation ; they turn loose upon all books and purchase 
at random ; they exercise no wisdom in the proper 
choice of books. A book lover who has the means to 
gratify his passion for books will, unless he is very 
discriminating in his selection, accumulate a num- 
ber of volumes which he never will use. At one time 
I sold fifty and at another over a hundred volumes, and 
I have, at different times, given away about the same 
number in order to rid myself of books which I seldom 
or never used ; and now, in my library of some fifteen 
hundred volumes, there are books with whose contents 
I despair of ever becoming familiar. I have so fre- 
quently been asked what to read, and how to read, that 
I shall here offer a few suggestions which have helped 


Read newspapers, but not too much. Many read 
nothing else. They glance over this and that column ; 
they spend all their leisure time in poring over the 
mass of stuff found in the dailies. Read the news- 
papers to know what has taken place during the past 
twenty-four hours, what is now taking place, and what 
is about to take place. This will give a knowledge of 
the people of our own land and of other countries, and 
will create a common feeling and a common opinion 
throughout the world. Access to several daily papers 
becomes to some people a means of mental dissipation 
and a temptation to read the news to excess. It is one 
thing to keep abreast of the times by reading of the 
all-important movements, and quite another thing to 
spend hour after hour of a short life over a heterogen- 
eous mass of controversial, conjectural, criminal, hor- 
rible, and often false and contradictory material, most of 
which passes out of the mind while reading, and thereby 
takes away mental earnestness and weakens the power 
of memory. If we cultivate our memory by remem- 
bering, do we not weaken it when we read newspapers 
and novels, not intending to remember what we have 
read, but expecting to forget it ? Some people have 
read newspapers until they have an appetite for news 
and not for truth. Their motto is, as Mr. Clarke says : 
"What next." It is worth the while after one has 
read through a large daily to ask himself how much he 
has for his three hours' work. The answer must often 
be, nothing, or next to nothing. This habitual waste of 
two or more hours a day on a large daily is a great 
sacrifice to make. A few minutes glancing through the 
convenient summaries of the "News of the Morning" 
and the " Personals," with an occasional lingering over 


some matter of special importance or interest, is often 
enough for a busy or studious man, and will give him 
all he needs to know. "A man," as Emerson has 
said, "must learn how to read daily newspapers, divin- 
ing instinctively what was meant for him, and casting 
the rest aside. The test of fitness is an easy one. A 
moment's reflection will show any one what part of a 
newspaper is likely to be useful to him in his daily life, 
and what part is likely to invigorate and enrich the in- 
tellect. The rest is surplusage. " 

Read magazines, but not too much. There are many 
of these, and they are fine, attractive, and popular ; 
they serve a good purpose for the professional man 
who can often find a whole book condensed in one 
article, yet for our first knowledge we must read more 
extensively. Any one who has access to several of 
these periodicals will do well if he finds, on an aver- 
age, two articles in each one which he needs to read. 
If all the time is devoted to this kind of reading it will 
deprive one of the knowledge of poetry, fiction, his- 
tory, and general literature. 

Read religious papers. Every family should sub- 
scribe to one or more religious papers. It is far better 
to take one good religious paper and read the best that 
there is in it, than to take a half dozen and read none. 
The religious world is wide. A man's religion is a key 
to his character and life. There is a knowledge to be 
gained from religious papers, which can not be gained 
from any other source. It tells what the Christian peo- 
ple are doing in other states and lands. Experience 
proves that the best workers are the best givers ; and 
the most spiritually minded in the church are those 


who read the religious papers. A sound and cheerful 
paper in the home helps the preacher in the pulpit. 


There is need of a considerable amount of profes- 
sional reading. Periodicals and books should be read 
which bear upon one's vocation. If this course is not 
pursued, man will drop into a rut and become narrow 
in his ideas. Constant reading will give breadth, full- 
ness, maturity of knowledge, new sources of pleasure 
and new facilities of action. But one should not con- 
fine himself to reading which bears upon his special 
calling. There is no occupation but what will admit 
of time for other reading. The following editorial 
from Once a Week has some wholesome advice upon 
this subject : 

In determining what books lie should read, a young man 
will consider, first, their relation to the particular vocation 
in which he is engaged, or wishes to engage ; and, secondly, 
their bearing on the general enrichment and training of his 
mind. There is no species of employment, no trade, no busi- 
ness, no profession, which has not its special literature de- 
voted to an explanation of its principles, processes and aims. 
It is by mastering this special and technical literature, by 
learning the shortcomings of a given handicraft or art, and 
reflecting on the historical endeavors to correct them, that 
the great inventions have been made ; those, for example, 
of the cotton-gin, of the spinning and weaving mechanisms, 
of the steam engine, the locomotive, the steamboat, the 
propellor, the electric telegraph, the electric light, electric 
motor, and the sewing machine. The authors of those epoch- 
making discoveries were not content with being accom- 
plished workmen in the crafts or arts already practiced — • 
experts in processes already known. They did not rest until 
they brought to a focus all the illumination which history 
and science could cast upon their calling, and thus from the 


failures of the past evoked a triumphant innovation. There 
is no branch of mechanics as to which an ambitious work- 
man can not, in his leisure hours, obtain a great deal of 
useful information and suggestion. He will find helpful and 
trustworthy articles, dealing with the purposes and methods 
of his particular calling, in all the principal encyclopedias ; 
and their are special dictionaries, like those of Ure and 
Brand, devoted to the practical applications of science and 
art. A comprehensive notion of what has been achieved 
and what is hoped for in his vocation can be obtained from 
such books, and they will refer him to technical treatises in 
which the subject is discussed in more detail. 

Hamilton said: "Men give me some credit for 
genius. All the genius I have is just this : when I 
have a subject in hand I study it profoundly ; I explore 
it in all its bearings ; my mind becomes pervaded with 
it ; then the effort which I make is what people call the 
fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and study." 
Balance the more professional kind of reading by that 
which is in a measure antithetical to it. Thus the man 
whose work lies along the sciences should take pains 
not to lose his hold on literature, and the literary man 
should beware of bidding adieu to the department of 
science. The man of severe mathematical turn owes 
it to himself to cultivate some acquaintance with the 
imaginative and aesthetic literature ; and the belles- 
lettres scholar, with studies that are exacting and 
severe. Some men, on the other hand, have suffered 
for want of novel reading ; and many another, for a 
sharp attack of metaphysics or mathematics. Such 
was the emphatic counsel of so wise and thoughtful a 
man as Thomas Arnold: "Keep your views of men 
and things extensive, and depend upon it that a mixed 
knowledge is not a superficial one. Adjust your pro- 


posed amount of reading to your time and inclination. 
But whether the amount be large or small, let it be 
varied in its kind." 

Read fiction, but not too much. This should be read 
as a rest from the heavier reading. It is to general 
literature what the dessert is to the regular meal. Too 
much of it will lessen the taste for other reading and 
produce inferiority of mind. I have known persons 
who have read nothing but novels. Their thirst for 
novels had become a real disease. They swallowed 
novels as a drunkard swallows his spirits. They lived 
on their excitement, and the more of them that they 
read, the weaker became their minds. Their reading 
detracted from their character, prospects, and success 
in life. Because of it they were less resolute and faith- 
ful in the discharge of duty. This came from exces- 
sive novel reading, — the reading of novels to the ex- 
clusion of all else. While this is true, I must say that 
there is little better reading than Scott, Thackeray, Roe, 
Dickens, Bronte, Cooper, Hawthorne, Wallace, Jane 
Porter, Louise Alcott. These are among the best 
novel writers. They teach generosity, manliness, truth 
and reverence. They will live long after many 
others are forgotten. Upon this subject Munger says : 
" Every hard worker is entitled to a holiday now and 
then. Treat yourself to a novel as you take a pleasure 
trip, and, because you do it rarely, let it be a good one. 
Having selected your novel with something of the 
care you choose a wife, give yourself up to it ; lend to 
its fancy the wings of your own imagination ; revel in 
it without restraint ; drink its wine ; keep step with its 
passion ; float on its tide, whether it glides sensibly to 
happy ends, or sweeps dark and tumultuous to tragic 


destinies. Such reading- is not only a fine recreation, 
but of the highest value." 

Read history. This furnishes a solid foundation. 
Bacon says : " Histories make men wise." Read the 
history of your own country first. Ancient history is 
excellent. It is well to study history by epochs. 
Amongst the many interesting histories may be named 
Rollin's "Ancient History," Grote's "History of 
Greece," Gibbon's "Decline and Fall of Rome," 
D'Aubigne's graphic " History of the Reformation," 
Hume's or Macaulay's "History of England," and 
Bancroft's and Lossing's " History of the United 
States." The reader who masters these will do a good 
work. History is the voice of the distant and the dead, 
and makes us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. 
History, says Fuller, " maketh a young man to be old 
without either wrinkles or gray hairs, privileging him 
with the experiences of age, without either the infirmi- 
ties or the inconveniences thereof." 

Read biography. Biographies of the truly good and 
great are most inspiring. One can not go amiss in 
reading candid biographies of representative men. Plu- 
tarch's Lives, the biographies of great generals, reform- 
ers, " Eminent Statesmen of America, " "Famous Au- 
thors," "Famous Women," "Franklin's Autobio- 
graphy," and " Boswell's Johnson," are excellent read- 
ing. The failures, struggles, and victories of these 
great people of history cannot fail to do good. Bio- 
graphies of too great length should be avoided as they 
are out of all proportion to the importance of the sub- 

Read essays. Some term this field general litera- 
ture. Here is a broad range where all readers meet. 


Here it is wise to maintain a due acquaintance with 
current literature, and not to overlook the past. 
Amongst the best essayists we name Bacon, Carlyle, 
Addison, Arnold, Johnson, Macaulay, Ruskin, Lamb, 
and Emerson. There are many others. The extent 
of travel in this direction must depend on the reader's 

Read poetry. It is not read enough. Longfellow, 
Tennyson, Browning, Wadsworth, Shakespeare, and all 
the great English classic poets, should occupy a por- 
tion of man's leisure. Limited readers will find excel- 
lent selections in the Golden Treasure ; The History of 
Poetry and Song; and Household Book of Poetry. In 
reading poetry choice passages should be memorized. 

Read the scriptures. This is the only book which 
had God for its Author, salvation for its message, and 
eternal life for its hope. This instructs man in his 
duty to himself, his fellow-man, and God. And aside 
from all this, it contains much valuable information. 
If you love history, here you have a record of creation, 
of how battles were fought, nations established, and 
kings crowned. Do you love the ancient? Here is 
found a record of their manners, customs, marriages, 
burials, costumes, weapons of war, and musical instru- 
ments. Do you love poetry ? Here is lofty poetry 
and faultless rythm ; here is bold lyric and devotional 
psalm ; here is all that touches the beautiful, tender 
and sublime. Do you love the novel ? J. G. Holland 
says: " The oldest novel in existence probably is the 
'Book of Job.' We presume there may be some 
men who read the Book of Job as a veritable history, 
but those who are capable of judging, will simply place 
it at the head of the realm of fiction. That it is di- 


vinely inspired, we do not dispute. Such imaginings 
and such descriptions, such conversations and argu- 
ments, such marvelous characterizations as are to be 
found in this great book, can be found nowhere else in 
the whole range of literature. It is the book that has 
commanded the admiration as well as the profound rever- 
ence of the greatest men who ever lived, and it is a 
novel in all its essential features, even though we call it 
a poem." Read the Christian's Bible for it contains ce- 
lestial literature, principles more precious than rubies, 
and knowledge that will make you wise unto salvation. 
Read mental philosophy for the knowledge of the 
mind and its wants. Read moral philosophy for a 
knowledge of duty, virtue, and means of attaining hap- 
piness. Read science for a knowledge of yourself and 
the universe around you. Read history for the inspira- 
tion and warnings of example. Read biography that 
you may know how other men and women have lived 
and wrought in private and public. Read politics for 
knowledge of government and duties of a citizen. Read 
logic and rhetoric that you may be able to convey 
clearly what you know to others. Read books of travel 
for a knowledge of what interests the traveler and for 
fitness for travel. Bacon says: " Histories make men 
wise ; poets, witty ; the mathematics, subtile ; natural 
philosophy, deep ; morals, grave ; logic and rhetoric, 
able to contend." 


Let him that readeth 7inderstand. It is not the amount 
of reading, but the way one reads that makes one wise. 
It is not simply the love of reading, but what we read 
and how we read. Some read books without knowing 


what is in them and without receiving any profit from 
them. They read a great deal, and for years, and yet 
know but little. You can no more judge of the wis- 
dom of a man by the number of books that he reads 
than you can judge of the strength of a general by the 
number of his soldiers. 


If you are a child, or have a child's mind, begin 
there. The kingdom of knowledge is like the king- 
dom of God; to enter, you must become as a little child. 

Read studiously. A book that is worth reading is 
worth studying. Gibbon generally read a book three 
times : first, glanced through for its design ; second, to 
fix its principles on his mind ; and third, to notice its 
blemishes and beauties, and to criticise and discuss it. 

Read systematically. So gather what you have read 
that you can transmit in into power and immediate use. 
It is poor reading if you can not avail yourself of what 
you have read. Beecher wisely recommends to use 
the pencil in reading. "I would say to every young 
person, to read with your pencil. Never pass a word, 
or an illusion, or a name you do not understand with- 
out marking it down for inquiry. Then go to your 
dictionary for definition or explanation ; go to the en- 
cyclopedia for information as to biographical or histori- 
cal allusions. Never read about any country without 
having a map before you. This kind of study will fix 
things in your mind as no formal method of school 
ever will." 

" In reading authors, when you find 
Bright passages that strike your mind, 
And which, perhaps, you may have reason 
To think on at another season, 


Be not content with the sight, 

But take them down in black and white ; 

Such a respect is wisely shown 

As makes another's sense one's own." 

Read with ait object in view. Select a subject, and 
read with a view of mastering it. Without an aim there 
is danger of superfluity. Munger says: "A center 
should be worked from, and all reading conducted with 
discrimination and care. Take your stand, say, upon : 

"i. A country. Iceland, e. g., know it first by books; 
then study its history back to Denmark; then its litera- 
ture as it runs into Scandinavian romance and myth- 

"2. A biography. Milton, e. g., hunt him up and 
down in encyclopedias, and in the lives of him, from 
that written by Johnson to that published yesterday. 

" 3. An epoch. The Elizabethan, e. g., find out what 
various authors say, from the Tory Hume to the Radi- 
cal Froude and the dissenting Geikie. One age, char- 
acter, nation, thoroughly mastered — this is reading." 
Robertson says: " At college I had no one to advise 
me, and I was continually modifying my plans. Now 
I would give two hundred pounds a year to have read 
on a bad plan chosen for me, but steadily." 

" At Oxford four years are spent in preparing about 
fourteen books for examination, and these have been 
the subject of school work for years. They are made 
text-books, digested, worked, got up, until they be- 
come part and parcel of the mind. These are choice 
master works of two languages, and whoever has mas- 
tered them is a scholar indeed. I never knew but one 
or two fast readers, and readers of many books whose, 
knowledge was worth anything. Miss Martineau says 


that she is the slowest of readers ; but what she reads 
she makes her own Comte, again, told Sir E. Perry 
that he had read an incredibly small number of books 
these last twenty years ; but what Comte reads lies 
there fructifying, and comes out a living tree, with 
leaves and fruit." 

James Russell Lowell says : 

The moment you have a definite aim attention is quick- 
ened, the mother of memory, and all that 3 r ou acquire groups 
and arranges itself in an order that is lucid, because every- 
where and always it is in intelligent relation to a central 
object of constant and growing interest. This method also 
forces upon us the necessity of thinking, which is, after all, 
the highest result of all education. For what we want is not 
learning, but knowledge ; that is, the power to make learn- 
ing answer its true end as a quickener of intelligence and a 
widener of our intellectual sympathies. 

I do not mean to say that every one is fitted by nature 
or inclination for a definite course of study, or indeed, for 
serious study in any sense. I am quite willing that these 
should ' browse in a library,' as Dr. Johnson calls it, to their 
heart's content. It is, perhaps, the only way in which time 
may be profitably wasted. But desultory reading will not 
make a " full man. " 

Read and reflect. Reading furnishes the mind with 
materials of knowledge only ; it is thinking that makes 
what we read ours. We are of ruminating kind, atid 
it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of 
collections ; unless we chew them over again, they will 
not give us strength and nourishment. Stewart has 
said: "Nothing, in truth, has such a tendency to 
weaken, not only the powers of invention, but the in- 
tellectual powers in general, as a habit of extensive and 
various reading without reflection." 


We copy Bishop Porter's rules, from his Hand- 
Book for Readers and Students : 

1. Always have some useful and pleasant book ready to 
take up in " odds and end " of time. 

2. Be not alarmed because so many books are recom- 

3. Do not attempt to read much or fast. 

4. Do not be enslaved by any system or course of 
study, as to think it may not be altered. 

5. Beware, on the other hand, of frequent changes in 
your plans of study. 

6. Read always the best and most recent books on the 
subject which j t ou wish to study. 

7. Study subjects rather than books. 

8. Seek opportunities to write and converse on subjects 
about which you read. 

9. Refer what you read to the general head under which 
it belongs ; if a fact, to the principle involved ; if a principle, 
to the facts which follow. 

10. Try to use your knowledge in practice. 

11. Keep your knowledge at command, by reviewing it 
as much as you can. 

12. Dare to be ignorant of many things. 

How should we read ? First, thoughtfully and criti- 
cally ; secondly, in company with friend or your family ; 
thirdly, repeatedly; fourthly, with pen in hand. 

We give the substance of Wm. Matthews' essay 
on " What Shall We Read : " 

1. One can read epitomes. An epitome is a shortened 
book. But epitomes are the bones of books without the 

2. One can read beauties and extracts : but who can judge 
a house by a specimen brick ? 

3. There is a way of skimming books : going over books 
as the butterfly over flowers : but how is one to skim Pascal 
or Bacon ? 


4. Skip judiciously ; consult books according to one's 
needs. But to do this requires a degree of critical acuteness. 

5. Consult books. A good reader will make use of in- 
dices. Still there are some books which one should know 
through and through. 

6. Stick to a few books. Read the most famous book on 
the subject. Study only the great authors. Great men build 
books. Cultivate a taste for reading. Read those which 
are acknowledged as the best. Spend the majority of your 
leisure time in reading. Do not read so much at a time as 
to overtax the mind. Do not read triflingly. Remember 
what you read, re-read and stud}- till you do remember. 
?vead and think because reading is fuel for the mind. Read 
in secret, read to a friend. Read and then write about it. 
Own all the books you can, and read all the books 3-ou can. 
There is no business, no avocation whatever, which will not 
permit a man, who has an inclination, to give a little time> 
every day, to the studies of his youth. 

Emerson's three rules on this subject are: 

1. Never read any book that is not a year old. 

2. Never read an} r but famous books. 

3. Never read any books but what you like. 

Read inspiring, wholesome and helpful books ; only 
those which you would be willing to have the world 
know you have read. 

Read the writings of some great author. This is a 
rule to which I adhere rather strictly. There are several 
living authors whose books I devour as soon as they 
are issued from the press. James Russell Lowell said : 
''One is sometimes asked by young people to suggest 
a course of reading. My advice is that they should 
confine themselves to the supreme books in whatever 
literature, or still better, to choose "some one great 
author, and make themselves thoroughly familiar with 


Read what interests you. This was Darwin's advice 
to Sir John Lubbock. James F. Clarke says: "Inter- 
esting books are those which do us good. Unless a 
book interests us, we can not fix our attention to it. 
Unless we attend to it, we do not understand it or take 
it in. Then we are wasting our time on a mere me- 
chanical process, and deceiving ourselves with a show 
devoid of substance. The best books are the most in- 
teresting : those which are the clearest, most intelli- 
gible, best expressed, the logic of which is the most 
convincing ; which are deepest, broadest, loftiest. 
Therefore read the books which interest you, by the 
best writers on those subjects." 

Reading a book at one sitting. An essay or short 
bock can be read at one sitting. I have often spent 
from four to six consecutive hours in reading from be- 
ginning to end a single book. For instance, " Blakie's 
Self Culture," Riis' " How the Other Half Live," "The 
Acts of the Apostles, " " Paul's letter to the Romans. " 
Such readings produce deep impressions upon the mind, 
and are never to be forgotten. Try this. Go into the 
country, or into the forest, or into a quiet room, and 
give your life, throught, and time for a whole half day 
to the reading and study of a single essay or book, and 
you will come away greatly enriched and blessed. 


Cicero described a room without books as a body 
without a soul. Carlyle has wisely said a collection 
of books is a real university. Confucius, speaks of 
himself as a man who in pursuit of knowledge forgot 
his food, and who in the joy of its attainment forgot 
his sorrows. " Books " says Emerson, "are the best 


of friends, well used; abused, the worst." What is 
the right use, what is the one end which all books go 
to effect ? They are for nothing but to inspire. '■ The 
only true equalizer of the world, says Dr. Lansford, 
"and the only treasure house open to all comers is a 
library ; the only wealth which will not decay is knowl- 
edge ; the only jewel which you can carry beyond the 
grave is wisdom." Beccher says: "Books are not 
made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so 
beautifully furnishes a home. The plainest row of 
books, cloth or paper covered, is more significant of 
refinement than the most elaborately carved sideboard. 
Give us a house furnished with books rather than fur- 
niture. Both, if you can, but books at any rate. To 
spend several days in a friend's house, hungry for some- 
thing to read, while you are treading on costly carpets, 
and sitting in luxurious chairs, and sleeping upon downy 
couches, is as if you were bribing your body for the 
sake of cheating your mind. Books are the windows 
through winch the soul looks out. A home without 
books is like a home without windows. No man has 
a right to bring up his children without surrounding 
them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It 
is a wrong to his family; he cheats them. Children 
learn to read by being in the presence of books. The 
love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon 
it. And the love of knowledge in a young mind is 
almost a warrant against the inferior excitements of pas- 
sions and vices." I recently addressed a communication 
to twenty men and women of culture and position, re- 
questing each of them to furnish me with a list of ten 
books which they had read at some period of their lives, 
and which greatly influenced them, — contributing to the 


formation of their characters, and molding their senti- 
ments and shaping of their destinies. All responded, 
except one. The Bible and Shakespeare are in every 
list. Plutarch's Lives, Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Bun- 
yan's Pilgrim's Progress, are named by the majority. 
There was an average of about two novels to the list. 
One list contained six novels, which was the greatest 
number named. Two lists, no novels at all. An In- 
diana poet names seven volumes of poetry. Only one 
book is named that was written by a skeptic. These 
lists I have on several occasions read to the public to 
their great amusement and profit. I would append 
them, had not several of the friends requested me not 
to do so. In a word, every reader may well bear upon 
his heart, as his guide toward right reading, that motto 
which one sometimes sees cut deeply in the walls of old 
churches: " For the greater glory of God." 



" For the love of money-is the root of all evil." — Tim. 
vi. 10. 

I desire money, because I think I know the use of it. It 
commands labor, it gives leisure ; and to give leisure to 
those who will employ it in the forwarding of truth is the 
noblest present that an individual can make to the world. — 

He that wants money, means, and content, is without 
three good friends. — Shakespeare. 

The desire for wealth is universal, and has been so 
from early times. Man was born to be rich. Wash- 
ington Irving declares the almighty dollar to be an 
object of universal devotion throughout our land. 

Emerson says : " The world is his who has money 
to go over it." "Whoever has a sixpence," says 
Carlyle, "is sovereign over all men to the extent of 
that sixpence, commands cooks to feed him, philoso- 
phers to teach him, kings to guard over him to the 
extent of that sixpence." "Money makes the mare 
go.'' Money is a motive power of great force among 

In the home it will enable one to have a comfortable 
house to live in; good food to eat; sweet water to 
drink; becoming clothes to wear; good fuel to burn; 
good books to read ; good beds to sleep in ; good pic- 
tures to look at ; good society to entertain ; and a good 
horse to drive. Go into the busy marts of business 


and thoroughfares of exchange, and it will be seen that 
money serves these agencies. 

Go into politics, and here it is too often the power 
that controls votes, legislation and judiciaries. Go on 
a voyage, and it will give you a passport to mountains, 
resorts, galleries, libraries, arsenals, manufactories, ob- 
servatories, botanical and zoological gardens. 

Go among the things that corrupt society and dis- 
grace men, and monej is there as the great agency to 
promote evil. 

Go into the realms of progress, and here it is seen 
to be a means of education, and marks one of the great 
differences between the savage and civilized nations. 

Go into the world of charity, and there money is 
the agency that builds hospitals, establishes reform 
schools, builds asylums, founds colleges, supports mis- 
sionaries, and pays church debts. "Knowledge is 
power," and so is money. He who has it has every- 
thing that it can purchase. 

Money is a motive to action. Mr. Clark says : ' ' The 
love of money is a motive to prudence, economy, in- 
dustry, and skill. It develops the powers of observa- 
tion, thought, care, patience, perseverance and exacti- 
tude." The effort required to make money is of itself 
an education. It disciplines man in self-denial and tem- 
perance. It makes man thoughtful and provident for 
the future. The education and discipline which busi- 
ness gives to a man is, in many respects, greater than 
that which can be obtained in the same length of time 
in schools and colleges. 

MONEY. 237 


It is thought by some that riches and religion are 
incompatible. Such condemn every institution accord- 
ing to its tendency to increase wealth. How inconsist- 
ent are these disclaimers, — they are very anxious to 
secure wealth, anxious for the prosperity of the country, 
and anxious for a flourishing condition of crops, agri- 
culture, commerce and manufacture. It is evident that 
wealth and religion are compatible when we consider 
that the world was made for man, that the practice of 
Christianity tends to wealth, and that the richest nations 
of the world, — the nations that have the most dignity, 
the best food, the richest garments, the best harbors, 
the most comfortable homes, and the greatest number 
of railroads — are the Christian nations. Beecher de- 
clares that his conception of the Christian man is am- 
plitude and not poverty. Adams represented riches 
as the stairs whereby men climb up into the height of 

Making Money. — The accumulation of wealth is a 
legitimate object. They only question is which are 
the proper and which the improper methods ? Emer- 
son says: " He is no whole man, until he knows how 
to earn a blameless livelihood. Society is barbarous, 
until every industrious man can get his living without 
dishonest customs." The man who spends his labor in 
doing that which adds no value to life and no virtue 
to character is doing an illegitimate business. The 
gambler who covets another man's money and plays 
for it ; the man who sells poor articles for good ones ; 
the man who adulterates food ; the doctor who gives 
people medicines which do them no good ; the 


author whose writings corrupt the heart ; the politician 
who buys votes ; the officer who accepts bribes ; the 
man who sells poisonous liquors to destroy the peace 
of families ; and the man who grows rich by tricks of 
trade and speculation, are unproductive laborers, who 
are making money by improper methods, receiving cor- 
rupted money, and adding nothing noble to manhood. 
Such men are cunning and adroit. Their tricks, smart- 
ness, and games may endure for a night, but truth 
cometh in the morning, when the wood, hay, and stub- 
ble shall be burned up with an unquenchable fire. 

Proper Methods. — All industry that adds to the real 
worth and wealth of the community is proper. Those 
who labor to produce the comforts and conveniences of 
the home, those who write books, paint pictures, de- 
liver lectures, teach scholars, dispense justice, and im- 
prove morals ; those who labor in shops, factories, 
offices, stores, and upon farms, are productive laborers ; 
they are adding virtue to manhood ; they earn their 
living; their wealth comes by pluck and perseverence 
in legitimate business. Let no man blush who has an 
honorable calling. Bishop Hall said: "Sweet is the 
destiny of all trades, whether of the brow or of the 
mind." Bacon says: "The gains of ordinary trades 
and vocations are honest and furthered by two things, 
diligence and a good name." 

Common sense is essential in the making of money. He 
who possesses common sense knows that for every 
effect there is an adequate cause ; he knows the value of 
a dollar, and how much bread and butter it represents. 
His common sense teaches him that all honest labor 
has a sure reward, "that diligence is the mother of 
good luck," that it is "better to go to bed supperless 

MONEY. 239 

than to rise in debt," and that " the best use of money 
is to pay debts with it." 

Sticking to business is essential to the making of money. 
Let the man who has found out his business relieve 
himself of squandering time and money on other ob- 
jects. Too much energy is spent out of the line of 
one's career. Emerson declares that " the crime which 
bankrupts men and states is job work, — declining 
from your main design, to serve a turn here and there. 
Nothing is beneath you if it is in the direction of your 
life. Nothing is great or desirable if it is off from that. 
Society can never prosper until every man does that 
which he was created to do." I verily believe that the 
majority of men who fail in business are broken up be- 
cause of speculation, and " dilly dallying" in outside 
schemes, instead of sticking to their chosen business. 


"Economy," says Cicero, "is of itself a great 
revenue." Economy implies regularity, prudence, 
good management, and the avoidance of waste. 

Economy saves from poverty. While there is no dis- 
grace in honest poverty, yet Americans ought to be 
ashamed of being poor except in cases of misfortune. 
In many instances men deserve blame for being poor. 
Many are poor because they have not been economical. 
Good financial conditions are just as attainable as good 
intellectual and moral conditions. Poverty is incon- 
venient. It is a great enemy to human happiness. It 
prevents one from doing a great deal of good. No man 
can help others who wants help himself. Now as 
economy saves from poverty it is every man's bounden 
duty to practice it. 


Economy saves from debt. It is hard for the debtor 
to be truthful ; he has to frame excuses to his creditor 
for the postponement of the payments due him. 
" Who goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing." Many a 
good man has been ruined by debt. The man who 
gets so deeply in debt as never to be able to extricate 
himself, can never be happy. As economy is a barrier 
against debt, it should be practiced. 

Economy increases the comforts of life. Comfort in 
worldly circumstances is a condition which every man 
is justified in striving to attain. 

Economy enables one to subsist during a period of 
sickness or when out of employment. 

Economy gives to a man a degree of respectability and 
independence that is worthy of consideration. Self help 
and independence have done much to make the Anglo 
Saxon the leading race for a thousand years. The man 
who has a little ahead can deal on equal terms with 
men in any condition. Men who live from hand to 
mouth must necessarily be helpless, at the mercy of 
others, and during commercial crises they must go to 
the wall. Independence is one of the grand objects of 
every man of spirit. A little store of savings not 
only barricades against want, but gives a man a foot- 
ing which enables him to live in cheerfulness and main- 
tain his personal dignity, respect and freedom. 

Economy provides for the future. Those who spend 
their gains recklessly are plunged into misery during 
adverse times. Those who spend extravagantly during 
early age generally are in want during old age. A large 
proportion of men do not provide for the future ; they 
forget the past, and think only of the present. They 
preserve nothing, but spend all they earn. They nei- 


ther provide for themselves nor their families. They are 
always poor and near destitution. Many laboring men 
are improvident for the future. Many of our Ameri- 
can workmen earn more money than our professional 
men, and yet they are always poor. This is because 
they are thoughtless, and fail during prosperous times 
"to lay up for the rainy day " which is sure to come. 

Economy secures an education and comfort for the 
family. Every man ought to have a family dependent 
on him, and he should have a degree of pride in keep- 
ing them above want and in providing for their physi- 
cal, mental and moral welfare in the future. 

Many men die without leaving sufficient money, or 
its equivalent,- to pay their debts or to give themselves 
a decent burial; in this land of plenty this should not 
be. The man who passes out of the world in such a 
condition, has been a financial failure. 

There are some considerations concerning the saving 
of money which all should take into account. 

No one should ever be ashamed of small savings. 
"Take care of pennies, and the dollars will take care 
of themselves." But few people know the power of 
pennies. They think that the rich accumulated their 
wealth in great sums rather than by saving in small 
amounts. They think it a small business to earn and 
save a penny. They see no wealth in pennies. They 
can not think of fighting poverty with the pennies. The 
Ragged Schools of England have penny banks con- 
nected with them, and it is a fact, that in one year over 
forty-four thousand dollars was deposited in one of 
these penny banks by the ragged school boys. It is 
claimed that the penny banks of England have in- 
fluenced many thousands of people to practice an 


economy sufficient to insure independence and comfort 
in old age. The first penny saved is a step in the world. 
" A penny in the purse is better than a friend at court." 
It has been ascertained that there is less want and more 
independence amongst those laboring men who, receiv- 
ing small wages, deposit a portion of the same, than 
amongst those who receive large wages and make no 
deposits. I know of a laboring man who for a period 
of ten years saved nothing, and on being prevailed upon 
to become a depositor he accumulated a sufficient 
amount in five years to buy a lot on which he built a 

In order to save, men must live within their means. 
Too many people live up all that they male, and conse- 
quently they have nothing for sickness and old age. It 
would be well for everybody to do as did Washington ; 
he scrutinized the smallest expenditures of his house- 
hold, and lived honestly within his income ; this he did 
even when president. John McDonough, a New Or- 
leans millionaire, had a motto: "Never give out that 
which does not first come in." 


"They that will be rich fall into temptation and a 
snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which 
drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love 
of money is the root of all evil ; which while some cov- 
eted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced 
themselves through with many sorrows." 

Bacon says: "As the baggage is to an army, so 
riches is to virtue ; it can not be spared or left behind, 
but it hindereth the march ; yea, and the care of it 
sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory." All great 

MONEY. 243 

gifts have their dangers. If those who possess wealth 
are beset with many temptations, so are those who pos- 
sess position and influence. Knowledge, strength, 
beauty, and skill may all be abused ; so may riches. 

Riches expose to envy and hatred. Prosperity is an 
eye-sore to many. The full orchard is coveted. The 
rich heiress has many suitors. A man of wealth be- 
comes a prey to all the birds around him. History 
te\]§ us of many assassinations of princes, and under- 
minings and poisonings of rich and great men. It was 
envy that drew the blood of Casser and banished Cicero. 
Men who possess wealth must feel the stroke of the 
envy and malice of men's tongues. Naboth was im- 
peached because of his spacious vineyard. Armies 
seldom invade poor countries. Thieves attack rich 
men. Recently demands for money have been made 
of several of the richest men of our country, accom- 
panied with threats of violence if they were not granted. 
When the condition of society has come to such a pass 
that rich men fall a sacrifice to the base suspicions and 
cruelties of wicked men, there is but little happiness 
and security in being rich. 

Riches obscure spiritual sight. Too long a period of 
fair weather creates such a superabundance of dust 
that we sigh for a shower. So prosperity, long con- 
tinued, breeds a plague of dust that blinds the spiritual 
sight. It is then that a shower or two of grief comes 
as a mighty blessing. A Christian making money fast 
is a man in a cloud of dust; it will fill his eyes if he be 
not careful. 

Too much worldly favor has weakened and relaxed 
the nerves of many a Christian. Those who are oc- 
cupied with worldly affairs should pause to look to their 


spiritual welfare, lest their souls become enfeebled. 
When Satan finds men entangled in the things of the 
world, his access to them is as easy as that of the spider 
to the fly entangled in his web. Books tells us that 
where one thousand are destroyed by the world's 
frowns, ten thousand are destroyed by the world's 
smiles. The world, siren like, sings and sinks us; it 
kisses and betrays us, like Judas ; it kisses and smites 
us under the fifth rib, like Joab. A great estate has 
been the thief that robbed many a man of heaven. 
Adam in Paradise was overcome, while Job on the dung- 
hill was a conqueror. Dives, faring sumptuously every 
day, was lost, while Lazarus the beggar was saved. 

Riches tempt to forget God. Moses urged the chil- 
dren of Israel, inflated with the increase of their flocks 
and herds and silver and gold, to beware lest they 
forget God. The love of the world frequently destroys 
the love of the Father. No man can serve two mas- 
ters. Those who make haste to be rich do not thrive 
in religion. Not that greatness and religion do not 
agree, but we are so weak as to yield to the tempta- 
tions of court, positions and wealth. Many men have 
so much business that they can find no time to com- 
mune with God. No man should so fill his head and 
heart with the things of this life as to crowd out God. 
That man is richest who has the greatest love for God, 
and not the greatest estate. Smyrna, the poorest of 
the seven churches, had the richest price set upon it. 

Riches make men forgetful of death. It is a hard 
thing for rich men to remember death. They have no 
leisure to think of it, and before they are aware they 
stumble into it. Silver and gold may intercept the 
rich man's sight of death, but they can not intercept 

MONEY. 245 

death's sight of the rich man. They may buy honors and 
offices and friends, but they can not assuage grief, thrust 
out care, cure disease, suspend death, prevent hell, nor 
bribe Satan. Sickness besieges the rich man, fevers 
consume him, and death summons him, just the same 
as the poor man. His wealth is helpless in the sight 
of death. Fine equipages and luxurious tables can not 
stay the king of terrors. Let the rich take care lest 
they be so occupied with their prosperity that they 
forget the one event which happeneth to all, and so 
forgetting, be unprepared for it. 

Riches promote vanity. Paul told Timothy to 
"charge them that are rich in this world that they be 
not high-minded nor trust in uncertain riches, but in 
the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy. " 
Prosperity makes most men proud, insolent, and for- 
getful of God. It extinguishes the spark of love and 
cools the heat of zeal. Many a poor good man has 
shot up, mushroom like, in a single year, and in so 
doing found his heart swelled with his prosperity. 

Riches tempt men to substitute wealth for character. 
" There is that maketh himself rich that hath nothing: 
there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great 
riches." No man should pride himself on what he has, 
but on what he is. No man's reputation should be 
measured by the acre. If a man is loved for what he 
has, it is a poor love. We should honor no man be- 
cause he is well clothed and well fed. It is common 
for some men to value their neighbors by their bank 
account and real estate, but there are thousands of ex- 
amples which could be cited of men who possess great 
wealth and corrupt hearts. Those who possess an ex- 


orbitant desire for wealth would do well to remember 

1. Riches do not secure happiness. A golden crown 
can not cure the headache ; a velvet slipper can not ease 
the gout ; a purple robe can not allay the burning fever; 
a sumptuous feast can not cure the dyspepsia ; a bag of 
gold can not secure domestic peace, nor stay the hand 
of sorrow and care. Wealth can not purchase health, 
genius, knowledge, character, friendship, or love. The 
richest men are by no means the happiest men. Not 
the external things make men happy. 

2. Riches are uncertain. We are told that they 
make themselves wings and fly away as an eagle toward 
Heaven. Those possessed of riches shall soon be de- 
prived of them. Fire may consume them ; thieves may 
steal them ; servants may embezzle them ; a bad debtor 
may borrow them; death will surely distribute them. 
They are like a tale, a dream, a shadow, a thought. 
In a thousand ways they take wings and fly away. 
Yesterday Job was the richest man in the East; to-day 
he has become so needy that he has gone into the 
proverb, " As poor as Job. " Saladin, a Turkish em- 
porer, lying at the point of death after many victories, 
commanded that a white sheet should be borne before 
him to his grave with this proclamation: "These are 
the only spoils which Saladin carrieth away with him 
of all his triumphant victories, of all the riches and 
realm that he had, now nothing at all is left but this 

Jonah's gourd was an arbor to him one day, and 
the next it wilted to the earth. So it is with v/ealth. 
It is full of pomp, show, and vanity one day, and the 
next, the place thereof knoweth it no more. When 

MONEY. 247 

men die they carry away nothing. A legend tells us 
that when Alexander the Great was carried to the 
grave, his hands were left outside the bier, that all men 
might see them, and might see that they were empty ; 
that they might see that though he had subdued kings 
and conquered the world, he could retain no portion of 
the treasures. How true the words, "We brought 
nothing into the world, and it is certain that we can 
carry nothing out of it." 

Riches give their possessors great anxiety. Wealth 
entails more anxiety on its possessors than does pov- 
erty. The landlord has as much trouble to secure his 
rent as the tenant has to pay it. Solomon tells us: 
"Where much is, there are many to consume it, and 
what hath the owner but the sight of it with his eyes." 

Riches are perilous to the soul. Mr. Adams tells us : 
" Thorns are the shelter for serpents, and riches the 
den of many sins." James says: "Your riches are 
corrupted and your garments are moth eaten, your gold 
and silver is cankered, and Che rust of them shall be a 
witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were 
fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last 
days." To the exorbitant love of riches we trace the 
apostasy of Demas, the perfidy of Judas, the lie of 
Ananias and Saphira, and the destruction of Naboth 
and Jezebel. Therefore be on your guard, watch and 
pray, lest in your love for money you fall into divers 
temptations which ruin the soul. Would you rid your- 
self of this desire ? Cultivate a higher love ; a love 
which will drive out the love of money ; the love of 
art and desire for knowledge. The zeal for religion will 
expel the greed of gain. Agassiz refused large offers 
for his services, because he could not afford the time. 


Turner refused a high price for his pictures, because he 
loved them more than he did money. Paul loved his 
religion too much to offer Felix a bribe to release 

Old Humphrey, in speaking of riches being a curse 
as well as a blessing says: " I was walking through an 
orchard looking about, when I saw a low tree laden 
more heavily with fruit than the rest. On a nearer ex- 
amination it appeared that the tree had been dragged 
to the very earth, and broken by the weight of its trea- 
sure. ' O, ' said l v gazing on the tree, 'here lies 
one who has been ruined by his riches. ' In another 
part of my walk I came up with a shepherd, who was 
lamenting the loss of a sheep that lay mangled and 
dead at his feet. On inquiry about the matter, he told 
me that a strange dog had attacked the flock, that the 
rest of the sheep had got away through a hole in the 
fence hedge, but that the ram now dead had more 
wool on his back than the rest, and the thorns of the 
hedge held him fast till the dog had worried him. 
'Here is another,' said I, 'ruined by his riches.' 
When I see so many rich people, as I do, caring so 
much for their bodies and so little for their souls, I 
pity them from the bottom of my heart, and sometimes 
think that there are as many ruined by riches as by 
poverty. The prayer will suit you, perhaps, as well as 
it does me. ' Give me neither poverty nor riches ; 
feed me with food convenient for me ; lest I be full 
and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? or lest I be 
poor and steal, and take the name of God in vain.' " 

MONEY. 249 


" Money is the root of all evil." That is, the ex- 
orbitant love of money and the bad use of it is the root 
of all evil, or much evil. Money is good or bad accord 
ing as it sought and used. It may be used wisely or 
unwisely : lavished foolishly, or hoarded meanly ; it 
may be wasted in vice, or bestowed in charity. 

Selfishness. — Money is misusued when it is made 
and spent wholly for self; those who use all their 
means to keep up appearances, live in style, support 
gay equipages and give costly entertainments, are 
living for selfish purposes, and asking others to minis- 
ter to their ends. The world is no better for their hav- 
ing lived in it. 

Drink — I am quite certain that the wage workers 
of our country pay a larger tax for drink than they pay 
to the government. Drink is incompatible with econ- 
omy, decency, and wealth. The good book tells us 
that the drunkard shall come to poverty. A moderate 
use of stimulants clouds the intellect and creates a 
feeling of recklessness. Those who drink are sure to 
lose their money and the respect and confidence of 
their fellow-men. All money spent for drink, and upon 
the lusts and other dissipations, is worse than wasted. 
And all who are running such a course are on the sure 
road to poverty and disgrace. 

Style and Appearance. — The man of economy must 
pay no attention to appearance. Ke must leave to 
others the formalities and decorations of life. Middle 
class people spend their fortunes in keeping up style 
and in keeping up with their neighbors. The ignoble 
ambition to dazzle others with dress, and to occupy a 


front seat in the social amphitheater, creates a dread- 
ful waste of money. Such people have not the cour- 
age to live as in their true condition of life, neither 
have they the patience to wait till they are better able 
to support better things. 

Extravagance. — In many of our common homes 
there is a vast amount thrown away uselessly. Oh, 
what extravagance is exhibited in the dress and on the 
tables of many common people. Sufficient is here 
wasted by some families to form the basis of a fortune 
in after life. 

Tobacco. — The working classes of our country spend 
six hundred million dollars every year for tobacco. 
This wasteful and pernicious expenditure would enable 
them to start hundreds of cotton mills, coal mines, 
iron works, and weaving looms on their own account, 
or it would buy modest homes for three hundred thou- 
sand families. No one can dispute these facts. 

There is sufficient money spent in this country 
every year for things which are useless, yea, which are 
positively detrimental, to furnish good food, clothes and 
shelter to every destitute man, woman and child in the 
world. All money that is spent in gambling, drink, 
tobacco, and brothels, is badly spent. The average man 
addicted to any one of these habits could in five years 
save at least five hundred dollars, and combining his 
earnings with twenty others similarly disposed, have 
ten thousand dollars for the purpose of starting some 
business in which they are experts. 


It requires more tact and prudence to use money 
than to make it ; or let us put it this way — it requires 

MONEY. 251 

more sense to know how to save money than to make 
it, and more sense to know how to use it than to save 
it. Not every man who has the talent to collect money 
has the talent to wisely spend it. I have seen rich 
men stand helpless before their fortunes, because they 
did not know how to use them for the happiness of 
their fellow-men. The proper use of money should be 
taught to every youth, it should be a habit early formed. 
With this in view, everybody should have the uncon- 
trolled use of a little money; they should be taught 
how to use it well, and then not required to render an 
account for every cent of it as some men require their 
wives to do. Many men give their wives and chil- 
dren only sufficient to purchase the necessaries of life; 
they never give them a cent to spend at their own dis- 
cretion. The value of money depends on the use we 
make of it. 

Money Used for Benevolent Purposes. — All benevo- 
lent acts require time and thought. All money should be 
judiciously bestowed. Giving money may be like pour- 
ing water on the sand. In helping men it should be 
done so as not to take away their self-respect and self- 
chance. Goethe said: "Nobody should be rich but 
those who understand it;" and I would add, how to 
use it for the good of the race. For if wealth is en- 
joyed alone, its reward is lost. If it is enjoyed jointly, 
it is like imparted knowledge, it doubly blesses. It 
blesses him that gives and him that receives. We are 
told that " the liberal soul shall be made fat. " " Give, 
and it shall be given unto you." It is our duty to 
give sympathy, thought, counsel, love, prayer and 
wealth, if we have it. It is far better to give while living 
than *:o wait till death. I can see no good reason why 


men should not enjoy the reputation of being generous 
while living. There is no opportunity to give in the 
grave. Heirs may spend recklessly ; if so, they should 
have no more. Why give a man a dagger with which 
to kill himself? 

Instead of giving to tramps and beggars on the 
street, it is better to give to societies which employ 
persons to visit those who are in want at their own 
houses, and provide work for those who are unem- 
ployed, homes for the aged, hospitals for the sick, and 
reform schools for those who need them. All money 
that is given to schools, asylums and churches, as a 
rule, is well bestowed. Those who can afford to do so 
should in some way help to feed the hungry mouths 
and to clothe the naked and shivering bodies. That 
man is a philanthropist who helps a poor boy through 
a college, or supports a missionary in a foreign field. 
Men who use their wealth in such a manner live on and 
on for generations to come. More than one man of 
wealth, realizing that the silver and gold are God's, and 
that we are bought with a price, has opened his 
heart in many good works. Such a man was George 
Peabody, who devoted a large part of his wealth to 
bettering the condition of the poor of England. His 
expenditure brought him universal respect and good 
will. Wherever he went he was the object of admira- 
tion and honor. Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, John 
Marshall, William E. Dodge, and Peter Cooper are 
examples of men who had right notions of riches, and 
who used them as the means of doing good. If all 
rich men would do as they did, all the envy, jealousy, 
and hatred of the poor toward the rich would vanish 
from society. Tweed and Arnold had not the right 

MONEY. 253 

notions of money, and consequently they betrayed 
their trusts and country. They were willing- to bribe 
and to be bribed, and so their names stand as monu- 
ments of shame and disgrace. 


In the financial world, as well as in the intellectual 
and moral world, we reap what we sow. Industry has 
its reward. The man of economy is secure against 
want. The spendthrift sows to the wind and reaps the 
whirlwind. The selfish man, the miser, reaps annoy- 
ance and trouble. The man of benevolence and gener- 


osity reaps a harvest of self-respect and esteem from 
his fellow-men, and has hope of a more glorious reward 
at the resurrection of the just ; for we are told that they 
who invite to their feast the lame, the halt, and the 
poor shall be rewarded at the last great day. 

Youth is the time to begin to make and save. Unless 
the habit of saving is formed with the first use of money, 
no one can expect to become a financier in after life. 
Habits of improvidence and carelessness are seldom re- 
formed. As a man begins in these, he continues. As 
the boy begins with the use of pennies, the man con- 
tinues with the use of dollars. Every youth should 
begin with right ideas of money making and saving. It 
is manly to set out in an honorable calling with a view 
to becoming an independent actor among men. It is 
manly to cultivate those business qualities that make a 
man a success in life. The man who is not a success 
here is not a whole man. He who does not manage 
his own affairs well is not considered able to manage 
the affairs of God's house. This is one of the require- 
ments of an elder. 


Judgment. — We are all stewards, and shall be called 
to render an account for the use we have made of our 
money and saving talents. If we have wasted our time, 
abused our bodies, and squandered our money; we shall 
sooner or later see it. This is the principle taught in 
the parable of the pounds and talents. Unto him that 
hath it shall be given. Thou hast been faithful over a 
few things : I v/ill make thee ruler over many things. 
Thou hast well used five talents : I will make thee a 
ruler over five cities. Oh, if you want to have the 
wealth of eternity in thy right hand, and riches and 
honor in thy left hand, use wisely your money-making, 
saving and using talents. If you would possess that 
inheritance that is incorruptible, that fadeth not away, 
and that can not be stolen by thieves nor corrupted by 
time, give of your means to elevate and better humanity, 
and to carry the gospel of love, peace, and pardon to 
the outcast, poor, and needy. Whatever you do, do 
it for the glory of God. 


Redeem the time, because the days are evil. — Paul, 
(Eph. v. 16.) 

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. — Shake- 

Time wasted is existence : used, is life. — Dr. Young. 

Let me, therefore, live as if every moment were to be my 
last. — Seneca. 

For who knows most, him loss of time most grieves. — 

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge 
by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost 
time is gone forever. — SmieES. 

Time comes alike to all. All are living in the 
mighty present. No man can get a minute ahead, or 
fall a minute behind. Genius and energy can not gain 
a second of time on dullness and laziness. The same 
moment arrives simultaneously to all the inhabitants of 
the earth. We are all living in the great to-day. 

We shall consider time as that portion of existence 
allotted to man upon the earth — the present life. Some 
one has said that time is money. But it is more than 
money. It is self-culture, success, character, power. 
Men are what they are by virtue of the use they make 
of time. Fuller realized this when he said: "Make 
use of time as thou valuest eternity." Let us first 

consider waste of time. 




Time wasted is the curse of many a life. The de- 
sire for society, the love of frolic, and the fondness for 
worldly amusements cripple the energies and dissipate 
the valuable time of many a youth. Samuel Smiles, 
speaking of the economical use of time, declares : ' ' An 
hour wasted daily in trifles or in indolence would, if 
devoted to self improvement, make an ignorant man 
wise in a few years, and employed in good works would 
make his life fruitful, and death a harvest of good 
deeds. Fifteen minutes a day devoted to self improve- 
ment will be felt at the end of the year." "The clock 
upbraids me," says Shakespeare, " with the waste of 
time." Chesterfield wrote to his son: " Every moment 
you now lose is so much character and advantage lost, 
as, on the other hand, every moment you now employ 
usefully is so much time wisely laid out at prodigious 
interest." Know the value of time ; snatch, sieze, and 
enjoy every moment of it. One of Poor Richard's 
maxims is: " Dost thou love life? then do not squan- 
dor time, for that is the stuff that life is made of." 

The young do not know the value of time ; conse- 
quently, they are extravagant in the use of it. The 
aged are seldom spendthrift of time or money. They 
number their days. They realize how short time is. 
" The two ends of life are like the two ends of an 
opera glass. From one end it looks very long, and 
from the other very short." Many a youth takes no 
note of time until much of it is lost. Juvenal says: — 

" The noiseless foot of time steals swiftly by, 
And ere we dream of manhood, age is nigh." 

TIME. 257 

One of the most liberal estimates of the period al- 
lotted to human life is three score years and ten. Many 
pass away before they are half so old. But for the 
sake of argument, suppose that all live till the ripe age 
of seventy. " At that rate you of twenty will have 
18,250 days; you of twenty-five will have 16,425 days; 
you of thirty, 14,600 days; you of forty, 10, 950 days. 
That is your capital, but it is capital to which you can 
not add. it draws no interest ; you live on the prin- 
cipal." Much of this principal must be used for 
comparatively nothing. One third to sleep ; nearly 
one third to eating, drinking, bathing, dressing, and 
other demands of nature. A great deal goes to sickness. 
Thus for the important duties of life we have but very 
little time. No wonder, then, there is no treasure so 
precious, and no waste so ruinous. Seneca realized 
the value of time: "It is a virtue to be covetous of 
time." And Faust, when he said: "Are you in 
earnest? Sieze this very minute." Sir William Jones 
considered " time as a treasure decreasing every night ; 
and that which every day diminishes soon perishes for- 
ever. " Time lost can not be regained, and there is 
nothing of so much value of which there is so much 
lost. Some one records having seen the following 
notice. " Lost,— somewhere between sunrise and 
sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond 
moments. No reward is offered for their recovery, for 
they are lost forever." Wealth may be restored; 
friends reconciled ; health regained ; reputation re- 
deemed. But the golden hours which are lost will 
never come back. The days and years which are past 
will not return. Much time is wasted in 

Idleness. — "Idleness, " says Jeremiah Taylor, "is 


the greatest prodigality in the world; it throws away 
that which is invaluable in respect of its present use, 
and irreparable when it is past, to be recovered by no 
power of art or nature. " Some one wrote a satirical 
poem in which the devil is represented as fishing for 
men, and adapting his baits to the temperament and 
taste of his prey. But the idlers were the easiest vic- 
tims, because they swallowed even the naked hook. 
The mind of the idler recoils upon itself. Luther ob- 
serves that "the human heart is like a mill-stone in 
a mill ; when you put wheat under it, it turns and 
grinds and bruises the wheat to flour; if you put no 
wheat, it will grind on and grind itself away. " God pity 
the man who has nothing to do — nothing to do where 
others find so much to do ; so many opportunities for 
usefulness ; so many pleas for help ; so many mouths 
to feed ; so many souls to save ; and so much to learn. 
Much time is v/asted by — 

Procrastination. — This is called the thief of time. 

" Do not tell me of to-morrow, — 
There is much to do to-day, 
That can never be accomplished 
If we throw the hours away." 

It is not wise to defer till to-morrow what can be 
done to-day. As regards the important duties of life, 
it would be well for all to engrave upon the tablets of 
their hearts : " Now is the acceptable time, now is the 
day of salvation." Much time is wasted in — 

Sleep. — This is a thief that steals a great deal of 
time. While some people can not secure sufficient 
sleep for their health, on account of bodily infirmities, 
yet others sleep entirely too much. Eight or nine hours 
per day is all the sleep that is needed. Those who 

TIME. 259 

oversleep can not keep the world awake. Those who 
take more sleep than nature requires, and who waste 
time that should be given to important duties, would 
do well to remember to take Shakespeare's rebuke ; 
" Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit, and 
look on death itself." Thomson says, — 

" Is there aught in sleep can charm the wise, 
To lie in dead oblivion, losing half 
The fleeting moments of too short a life? 
Who would in such a gloomy state remain 
Longer than nature craves?" 

Much time is wasted in — 

Loafing. — This is bad business It leads to dis- 
reputable society, and is a prodigious waste of time. 
Millions of hours are squandered, worse than squan- 
dered, every year around hotel corridors, in brothels, 
in saloons, in gambling houses, and upon the street 
corners. Besides wasting time, the loafer is a nuisance. 
He occupies room which should be given to respectable 
people ; he fills the store with fumes of tobacco ; he 
tells indecent yarns for gawky youth to laugh at ; he 
manufactures slander ; he stares indecorously at ladies ; 
he is a stumbling block on the street; and further, he 
creates discontent in the hearts of those who work. 

Much time is wasted in — 

Worldly Amusements. — A certain amount of time 
may be wisely spent in innocent and rational amuse- 
ments, in social and in family intercourse. Games of 
certain kinds will aid in keeping the body in health 
and the spirits refreshed. When, after a period of 
hard work, people deserve recreation, then earnest play 
is not a waste of time. But entirely too much time is 
given to amusements, which should be a relish and not 


a food. Too many make them the summum bommi of 
life. They would make their dinner of sweetmeats. 
They live from day to day either in the remembrance, 
or in actual participation, or in prospect of some 
amusement. This is poor life and dreadful waste of 
time. Those who live for amusements seldom do any- 
thing creditable to themselves or of much worth to 
humanity. The Epicurian says: "Let us eat and 
drink, for to-morrow we die." Time is too short to 
spend in reckless enjoyment. There are important 
duties which require time, and which should not be 
neglected for the dance or other trivial pastimes. Thus 
we have seen that much time is wasted in idleness, pro- 
crastination, sleep, loafing and worldly amusements. 
These are the thieves which steal time. Young men 
and women who speak of killing or squandering time, 
do it in one of these unprofitable ways. Those who 
are guilty of thus spending time would do well to take 
some account of their years, to remember that each 
day is a little life, that the moments that they forego 
eternity itself can not retrieve, and that had others the 
time which they are wasting, they would enrich the 
world with their philanthropy and knowledge. 


Time is of much more value to some people than to 
others. One year of the thought, faith, and generos- 
ity of some people is equal to the whole life of others. 
Some have not time enough, while others have time to 
spare. To some the hours are fraught with thought 
and feeling, while to others they pass idly by. Some 
make every hour a blessing, while others make every 

TIME. 26l 

hour a curse to humanity. There are various ways of 
improving time. 

Doing Good. — No man can give too much time to 
doing good. There is so much ignorance, sorrow and 
sin in the world, that all time is profitably spent which 
is devoted to making men wiser and happier, and in 
leading them to God. Those who visit the sick, clothe 
the naked, feed the hungry, change a city into a king- 
dom, and make two blades of grass grow where only 
one grew, are profitably and wisely employing their 
time. It is not the longest life that is the fullest. Ra- 
phael died when he was thirty-seven, and he seems to 
have done as much by his genius and industry as those 
sculptors who lived to a ripe old age. Mozart died 
when he was thirty-six. He did so much for the world 
in that short time, that no one asked how many years 
he lived. St. Paul's life seems much longer than Me- 
thuselah's. Jesus lived only thirty-three years. In 
three years he gave to the world a new religion which 
has been a blessing to the nations of the earth. Those 
who crowd their lives full of good deeds, who make 
every day and hour tell with noble, honorable work, are 
profitably employing their time. Therefore, a life of 
action ib the one that lasts the longest, the one most 
to be coveted, and the one most wisely lived. 

Self- Culture. — No man can have a cultivated intel- 
lect unless he sets a high estimate upon time. There- 
fore, all men of culture make a wise use of time. 
The man who improves his mental faculties is capable 
of enjoying much more than he who does not. He 
who lives in communion with the great and good minds 
of the earth can not be mean at heart. If you would 
make yourself familiar with the literature and history 


of the world, if you would understand something 
about the rocks, plants and stars, you must use your 
moments, and consider every one of them lost that 
could be more profitably employed. Knowledge is 
nothing but a wise use of time. 

Religion. — No man can give too much time to his 
own salvation. I anticipate that when we reach the 
other world, where we can duly weigh an hour, we 
shall realize that religion is the only object worth the 
time of the inhabitants of the earth. As it affects our 
salvation, time is of more value than gold or silver. 
Elizabeth, the celebrated queen, exclaimed on her 
death-bed : ' ' My kingdom for an hour of time ! " She 
had not wasted her time, as respects earthly things. 
She was so fond of study that she would rise early and 
spend a part of the morning in reading. She could 
speak and write five different languages. It was said 
that she knew as much as any man in her kingdom. I 
presume she wanted time to get ready for heaven, as 
she had not attended to her soul as she should have 
done. She desired time to repent, to pray for redeem- 
ing mercy, and to prepare for heaven. As religion 
keeps the mind and heart young, makes every day 
dawn with beauty, makes every year come with a new 
charm, makes old age bright and death happy, and 
opens the portals to a heavenly life, we would say that 
all the time spent in this direction is wisely used. 
Those improve time who — 

Do well whatever is worth doing. — There is time 
enough for all that is to be done. It is better to do a 
single thing well than to do many things imperfectly. 
It is better to read one book thoroughly, than many 
superficially. The most terrible thinker and scholar is 



the man of one book. The man who knows all about 
the Bible or Shakespeare is a highly accomplished 
man. It is better to be a master of one trade or pro- 
fession then to be "a jack of all trades" or profes- 
sions. There is plenty of time to learn and carry to 
success any honorable business or profession. Half 
prepared men are cheats. There is time for a complete 
education and preparation for life. Those who are 
half equipped are lame and halt. Those who succeed 
in life take hold of the duty nearest at hand and do it 
well. The other duties fall into line and are discharged 
one by one, Whether you work, play, or study, let 
it be done squarely, cleanly and thoroughly. Too 
much time is wasted in doing too many things, read- 
ing too many books, seeing too many people, and 
talking too much ; therefore nothing is well done, well 
read, no one well known, and nothing said that is 
worth hearing. There is ample time to do well all that 
needs to be done. Therefore while you do it with 
your might take time to do it well. One good action 
well done, one generous deed well performed, one book 
well read, one year rightly lived, will brighten the whole 
life, fill the mind with pleasant recollections, and be a 
stimulus to do and to dare in the' future. 


I. Its Brevity. — The Psalmist says: "So teach us 
to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto 
wisdom." He desired God to give him a right sense 
of the shortness of life, that he might profitably em- 
ploy time. "One generation passeth away, and an- 
other cometh." "The world passeth away and the 


desire thereof. " It is but a span from the cradle to the 
grave ; but a step from infancy to old age. No man 
has a lease on life. His days are numbered. Man 
born of woman is of but few days. The brevity of life, 
therefore, we offer as a motive to impel to right im- 

2. The Work to be Done. — Education to be secured ; 
business to be chosen and conducted ; a home to be 
established; a family to be reared ; a just government 
to be maintained ; the poor to be helped ; the ignorant 
to be educated; the gospel of Christ to be preached; 
and divine life to be put into the soul. 

3. Opportunities kind Advantages. — In nearly every 
community the young have access to one or more li- 
braries which contain the best literature of the world. 
In nearly every city there are galleries which contain 
beautiful productions of art ; botanical gardens, where 
the sweetest of flowers bloom in beauty; zoological 
gardens, where the animals of all nations can be seen ; 
geological collections, where the curious and antiquated 
specimens, exquisite gems and coins can be examined; 
observatories, from which the heavens can be viewed ; 
and lecture courses of all sorts, which can be attended, 
to the improvement of the mind. No one need com- 
plain of not having an opportunity to improve his time 
when there are a thousand open doors welcoming him 
to come and learn of the air, the water, the earth, the 
heavens. Wisely did Arthur Helps say: "Go away, 
man; learn something, do something, understand 
something, and let me hear nothing more of your 

4. Keep the Old, Accept the New. — Mr. Clark tells 
Us : ' ' There are two kinds of men who can make no pro- 

TIME. 265 

gress,— the conservative, who is so conservative as not 
to accept the new births of time ; and the radical, who 
is so radical as to drop the old truth in order to take 
the new one." 

The eyes should neither be shut, nor the ears closed, 
nor the heart hardened against new truths. The man- 
ner in which this is done is typified by a friend of 
Galileo's who would not look through the telescope to 
see the satellites of Jupiter, because he claimed that 
there ought to be no satellites there. " Look and see 
them," said Galileo. " I will not look," retorted the 
other "what is the use of looking? I know that there 
are none there." True progress clings to all old truth 
and accepts all new truth. Iti order to make the right 
use of time, the eye and the ear must be open to the 
acceptance of knowledge. 

5 . The Desire to Live Over the Past. — Ah, if we could 
only go back and live the past over again, what mis- 
takes would be corrected, what sins blotted out, what 
changes wrought. The desire of many a heart is ex- 
pressed in the wish, 

" Backward, roll backward, Time, in your flight, 
Make me a child again just for to-night." 

Mirabeau said, if he had been a better man and 
had made a better use of time, that he would have 
saved France. If some angel would come and say, 
" You may be as you were a year ago, before that fatal 
crime was committed; before that terrible mistake was 
made ; before that opportunity came which you threw 
away and lost forever ; before that dear friend was taken 
from you by death, so that you could have shown him 
the love you felt in your heart, but neglected to mani- 
fest in action," would not this be a wonderful gift, and 


help to brighten your lives ? In the light, therefore, of 
these desires to live over life and blot out its evils, 
should you not be encouraged to redeem the time in 
the future ? But oh ! past time is gone and can not be 
recalled. Wealth, desires, prayers, repentance, sigh- 
ing, nothing can reclaim it and make it ours to live 
over again. 

6. The Permanency of Results. — All that you have 
done is done forever, all that you have omitted is 
omitted forever. The good and bad actions are sealed 
up and can not be recalled. With a powerful grasp 
time seizes and retains everything that passes within 
its irresistible embrace. We do not understand our 
past until it is gone. We now look back at our youth, 
with its opportunities and its joys and sorrows, as a real 
inheritance. Its sacred lessons, its pure affections, its 
terrible mistakes, we now consider as something that 
was real and that can not be annihilated. The past is 
gone, but its warnings and lessons are ours. Whether 
the past has been one of uncontrolled or subdued pas- 
sion, one of wasted or improved time, its results are in- 
exorable and permanent. Considering, then, that all 
we do, whether it be good or evil, stands in the past as 
an imperishable monument, to please or fret our pres- 
ent, to make our recollections glad or sad, to inspire 
us to deeds of honor or dishonor, and to meet us at 
every step in life, at the grave and at judgment, should 
we not be impelled to improve our present moments as 
they are gliding into the past? 

7. The Lives of Great Men. — Those who attain emi- 
nence or excellence are those who economize time. 
Barrett says : ' ' Other thing being equal, he who best 
weighs the hour, best spends the hour. Other things 

TIME. 267 

being equal, men are successful as they value time." 
Those who benefit the world by their wisdom and their 
country by their patriotism are those who make the 
best possible use of every minute. It is wonderful 
what men have done by working up the odds and ends 
of time. Macaulay learned German on a sea voyage. 
Dr. Abercrombie wrote many valuable books with a 
lead pencil while visiting his patients. Dr. Good trans- 
lated Lucretius while riding in his carriage in the 
streets of London. Dr. Darwin composed nearly all 
his works while driving from house to house in the 
country. Rev. Hale wrote his contemplations while 
traveling on a circuit. Prof. Burney learned French 
and Italian while traveling on horseback from one music 
pupil to another. Madam D'Genlis composed several 
of her charming volumes while waiting for the prin- 
cess to whom she gave music lessons. One of the 
great chancellors of France wrote a book in the suc- 
cessive intervals of waiting for dinner. Mr. Fulton in- 
vented the steamboat, and Morse the telegraph, with 
the fragments of time. Thus we see the very odds and 
ends of time may be worked up into results of the 
greatest value An hour profitably employed every 
day yields valuable results in course of years. One's 
life-time is short, but the amount that can be accom- 
plished in it is remarkable. Sir William Hamilton 
read ten thousand books, and made marginal notes 
upon them. Hugh Miller wrote a library of science. 
St. Paul in about thirty years preached the gospel and 
planted churches over the whole civilized world. 
Francis Xavier during his lifetime baptized a hundred 
thousand converts. John Wesley in the course of his 
life preached more than forty thousand sermons, and 


traveled three hundred thousand miles, or nearly fifteen 
times the circumference of the globe. Wm. Grey, the 
Boston merchant, who owned at one time sixty large 
ships, stated that for fifty years he arose at dawn. 
Perhaps no man made a better use of time than Benja- 
min Franklin. By the wise use of it he plucked the 
lightning from the clouds and the scepter from the 
hands of George the Third. When he stood before Eng- 
lish lords in council, the object of abuse and ridicule ; 
when he stood in the midst of the glittering court of 
France, the object of praise and admiration ; when he 
stood in the American Congress, with his calm good 
sense directing its counsels ; and when he tried experi- 
ments with his kite and his key, he was redeeming the 
time and applying his heart unto wisdom. For many 
years Hale studied at the rate of sixteen hours a day. 
He became a great lawyer, philosopher, and math- 
matician. Spurgeon placed a high value upon time. I 
have in my library between thirty and forty volumes 
from his pen. These few examples of men who have 
coined minutes into hours and hours into days serve to 
show what can be done in a brief space of time. All 
the distinguished of the world early formed the habit 
of gathering up the fragments of time. They were in- 
dustrious from morning till night. They were faithful 
to their highest convictions and to the best thought 
which God gave to them. In this manner they changed 
time into life, and made every moment bring forth 

8. The Judgment. — We shall all be called to ren- 
der an account for the use to which we have put our 
days, weeks, and years. Upon the right employment 
of time depends our happiness or misery throughout 

TIME. 269 

eternity. What a spectacle that will be when our gen- 
eration is called to give an account for their time, when 
some shall say, " I dispensed justice ; " some, " I pro- 
moted commerce;" some, "I labored for my chil- 
dren;" some, "I clothed the naked;" some "I 
preached the gospel;" some, "I spent my life loaf- 
ing; " some, " I spent my life endeavoring to gain ad- 
mirers by painting, consulting the mirror and arrang- 
ing my toilet." "Hours have wings which fly up to 
the Father of time and carry news of our usage." 
"The misspents of every minute are a new record 
against us in Heaven." How happy is it when they 
carry up not only the message, but the fruits of good. 
Every day judges us ; the acts which we put into it 
write letters more indelible than those carved on the 
pyramids of Egypt. We shall be called to render an 
account for all of our words and all the moments of 
our lives. Therefore, let us so live that we may sur- 
render with joy and not with trembling the time that 
is ours. With such thoughts how can any suffer the 
hours to fly away empty or laden with corrupt intel- 
ligence ? 


To Young Ladies. — Your time is as valuable to 
you as it is to anyone else. You are just as account- 
able for it as are your brothers. When you waste it 
you are wasting the very substance of life. Were you 
called now to render an account of your time, it would 
doubtless be an account of fashion, embroidery, orna- 
ments, wasted hours, and good intentions. Is it not 
better "to wear out than to rust out?" You have 
ability to visit the poor, wait on the sick, teach the 


ignorant, and minister unto the orphan. The duties of 
your lives are commensurate with their duration. 
Every day has its work. Time that you waste is 
wasted forever. Every woman born into this world 
has a mission to fill. Reflect upon the gracious pur- 
poses of life, and accomplish all you can. Be what 
you aspire to be. So live that when the bell of time 
sounds your funeral knell, you will depart not as the 
feeble sentimentalist, not as the one that idled away 
time, but as a cheerful Christian, who made the best 
possible use of time. 

To Young Men. — Set a high value upon your 
evenings. No period of time does so much to make 
or ruin men as the evening. During the four even- 
ing hours — from six to ten — thousands of young 
men and women have been ruined. These hours 
are spent by many in smoking, drinking, gambling, 
dancing, gossiping, and excesses of all sorts. These 
hours make vagabonds, spendthrifts, and crimi- 
nals. On the other hand, these hours wisely 
used have made men good and great. These hours 
devoted to study will in the course of ten years 
enable one to complete a full course of college studies, 
or make one a master of history or literature. What 
can be accomplished during these hours may be learned 
from the use to which they were put by some of the 
world's greatest men. Stephenson, the great inventor, 
taught himself arithmetic and mensuration at night. 
In early life Elihu Burritt began to study the ancient 
languages after his day's work was done. He spent his 
evenings in study as faithfully as his days in work. 
He was a blacksmith by trade. At the age of fifty he 
was familiar with almost as many languages as he 

TIME. 27I 

was years old. He was a blacksmith by day and a lin- 
guist by night. He became a noted lecturer, philan- 
thropist and author. What he did, others can do. An- 
other noted example of a man who resisted the nightly 
attractions and seductions of society, v/as Peter Cooper. 
At the age of seventeen he was apprenticed to coach 
making in New York City. He sought for a night 
school ; as there was none in the city, he resolved, 
however, to utilize his evening hours in study, and 
thereby supply his deficiency of education. These even- 
ing hours spent in study made Peter Cooper's life rich 
in literature, and gave him an acquaintance with the 
treasures of the great minds of the earth. They were 
so well spent that they did much to determine his 
character and destiny. Benjamin Franklin consecrated 
his evenings to hard study and experiments, and the 
result was that he became an eminent statesman and 
scientist. Hugh Miller, the stone-mason, during the 
period that most young men are in the saloon or 
theater, trained his mind for that work which has 
proved so useful for himself and beneficial to man. 
These are but a few examples, of the many men who 
began their grand career of success by a wise use of 
their evening hours. Mr. Weaver knowingly observes: 
" If you know how a young man spends his evenings, 
you may predict with tolerable certainty the style of 
life he will live and the degree of his success." 

To Those Who Have Wasted Time. — You have not 
been wisely using this God-given time. The past is gone 
forever; the future is yours; it is open to you, you can 
use it as you please, you can grasp the moments that 
come to you and make them yield a bounteous harvest. 
Why not begin now to work in such a spirit that you 


may in a measure redeem your past years from their 
emptiness ? Make your acts in the future, as far as they 
may, atone for the abuse of misspent years. In one of 
Dickens' stories we read of a man who had wasted his 
life and gave himself to die in the place of another dur- 
ing the Reign of Terror. And so by a sunset of glory 
he gilded a cloudy past. If your career has been a 
dark one, do all that is within your power to obliterate 
it by the overflow of your present activity and good- 
ness. From now on, consecrate your life to devoted 
usefulness. Make your time yield precious fruits — in 
the form of something learned worthy of being known, 
some good principle cultivated, some good habit 
strengthened, some good deed done. This may seem 
hard to do, but if you have the will, you can do it. 
It is within your power to make every day blossom as 
as the rose and bring forth golden fruits. 

To All. — In the words of Mr. Barrett: "Let me 
beg you to set two guards about the day, one at the 
morning and one at the evening. When you rise ask 
God to help you to spend the day, and when you go to 
rest, examine that day in his sight." Be up and doing. 
There are wrongs to be righted, abuses to be corrected, 
churches to be reformed, popular errors to be de- 
nounced, politics to be purged of corruption, and 
souls to be saved. Thousands of opportunities are 
open before you ; the field is white unto the harvest. 

•' Redeem the misspent time that 's past, 
And live this day as 't were thy last." 


A spider is proud when it has caught a fly ; a man, when 
he has caught a poor hare; another, when he has taken a 
little fish in a net; another, when when he has taken wild 
boars; another, when he has taken bears; and another, 
when he has taken Sarmatians. — Marcus Aureeius. 

While the passion of some is to shine, of some to govern, 
of others to accumulate, let one great passion alone influence 
our breasts, the passion which reason ratifies, which con- 
science approves, which Heaven inspires, — that of being and 
doing good. — Robert Hai/l. 

We shall consider ambition as an eager desire to 
attain an object whether it be good or bad. Every- 
man has a life to live which is everything to himself 
and should be of great importance to the world. The 
ambitions which animate the life give it color and char- 
acter ; they either make or unmake men ; they forecast 
the future ; they constitute the sign-boards which indi- 
cate the roads boys and men are traveling. Nearly all 
great men had an early ambition to engage in the work 
that made them famous. A youth with a deep seated 
ambition for a particular line of work is almost certain 
to be found doing that work in after life. Every body 
has ambitions, but between the highest and the lowest 
there is a vast difference. While some of these ambi- 
tions are true to our nature and lead to that which is 
great and good, there are others, which are false to 


our nature and lead to nothing but evil. In business, 
an ignoble ambition seeks wealth for selfish purposes ; 
whereas a noble ambition seeks wealth as a means to 
promote the welfare of man and the glory of God. In 
politics, an ignoble ambition makes men traitors and 
demagogues ; whereas a noble ambition makes men 
patriots and worthy leaders. In religion, an ignoble 
ambition makes men hypocrites ; whereas a noble am- 
bition makes men Christians. 

In literature, the man of ignoble ambition will cater 
to the baser passions of man by sensational writings ; 
whereas the man of noble ambition will write the truth 
though it rebukes the lives of half his readers. An 
ignoble ambition is a pretense, a fiction, a stratagem. 
A noble ambition is a truth, a reality, a principle. The 
man of ignoble ambition is serpent hearted, wily tongued, 
courtier mannered and two-faced. The man of noble 
ambition is simple hearted, outspoken, kindly man- 
nered, and open-faced. Noble and ignoble ambitions 
are opposites ; they have nothing in common ; they 
neither think nor act alike ; the one is for self, and the 
other is for humanity ; the one is policy, and the other 
is honesty ; the one is for chance, the other is for 
merit ; the one is for luck, and the other is for pluck ; 
the one is for pleasure, and the other is for principle ; 
the one is wrong, and the other is right ; the one is the 
child of the devil, and the other is the child of God. 


How extensive such ambitions are may be inferred 
from the large number of youths who go drifting 
through the morning of life more eager to discuss the 
latest prize-fight than the great questions of education, 


morals and government ; who are more anxious to at- 
tend some dancing party than the church, and more 
determined to gratify their desires and lusts than to 
obey the desires and commands of their parents. How 
influential these low ambitions are may also be inferred 
from the large number of men who flock with the 
frivolous and licentious, and contribute to the support 
of dens of iniquity; and who worse than waste vast 
sums of money, years of time and valuable talent in 
the saloon, gambling house, and other resorts of folly. 
A sharp conflict is being waged between the base and 
the worthy ambitions of life. Those who are ambi- 
tious to preserve the purity of our government, the 
freedom of our schools, the safety of our homes, and 
the sanctity of the church are pitted in an irrepress- 
ible conflict against those who are ambitious for ill- 
gotten gains, self-indulgence, and worldly pleasures. 

1. Some boys are ambitious to be rowdies. They 
early adopt the manners, relate the anecdotes and en- 
gage in the sports of the rowdy. They are deluded by 
the coarse and vulgar flippancy of showy and turbulent 
men. Glitter and noise have charms for boys. For 
this reason many boys who have been well reared are 
ambitious to be circus actors, or race-horse owners. In 
search of cheery company, good fellow-ship and gay 
times, they early loiter around the saloon and loafing 
places, attend the theater, the base-ball game, and the 
parade. Such ambitions are very low, and those who 
are deluded by them are blinded and being led astray. 

2. The desire of supenorit y is an ignoble ambition. 
Many a youth's notion of a man is skill and power 
to master. They have little or no conception of the 
man of mind and character. With such an ambition 


deep seated, young men chafe under the restraints im- 
posed upon them. They can not bear to see others, 
their inferiors in many ways, stand higher than they do. 
They start in life with the determination to reverse this 
state of things. This ambition is often quickened by 
education and experience. Keenly alive to the unequal 
distribution of positions and riches, the young man am- 
bitious for superiority is apt to say: " I have not only 
the ability, but also the education necessary to the 
struggle. I am at the bottom of the ladder now; but 
I will gain the top or die in the attempt." This ambi- 
tion soon develops into a master passion. As it be- 
comes intensified, it inspires hatred and animosity be- 
tween rivals and competitors. It instigates the adoption 
of questionable means for acquiring wealth ; it strives 
to crush a rising aspirant, and treads upon the rights 
of mankind in general. There is an ambition for 
power when it is desired as a means to extend the sphere 
of one's influence and usefulness, that is commendable. 
The patriotic statesman and the true orator may be 
ambitious of power in order to silence the arguments 
of astute demagogues, and in order to influence the 
thoughts and passions of multitudes. A lawyer, or 
physician, or clergyman may be ambitious of excel- 
lence in his profession, solely with a view to greater 
usefulness. Men in every honorable profession and 
business may be rightly ambitious of power, power to 
think, to feel, to perceive, and to act in order to elevate 
and benefit humanity. With this in view, strength, 
skill, riches and eloquence may all be used as means to 
accomplish an end. But the desire to influence others 
for our own glorification is selfishness. When the de- 
sire to excel becomes an unreined ambition, it prompts 


a man to seek his own good instead of that of his 
neighbors, it throws obstructions in the way of others, 
causes domestic feuds, usurps the rights of the inno- 
cent, enriches the few, improverishes the many, im- 
pedes the progress of civilization, and convulses nations. 
Because the way to the highest positions are open to 
all, it does not signify that they are within the reach 
of all. It is a noble ambition to ascend the rounds of 
the ladder to distinction and power, but the one who 
does so should possess competency and respectability. 
He should do so not through a spirit of selfishness or 
a desire for superiority, but for the blessings which he 
may confer upon others. 

3. The ambition of ease, pleasure and self-indulgence. 
t Many live for such an ignoble ambition. It requires 
many years for them to learn that such a life does not 
lead to true happiness and lasting content. Those who 
live for pleasure would be greatly benefited if they 
could look forward to their relative social position 
thirty years to come. Those who live lor the indul- 
gence of their baser passions frequently ruin their 
higher natures. There is no disgust in life like that 
which comes to the broken-down man of pleasure, who 
finds out, when it is too late, that his heart is sorrow- 
ful, and his mirth is heaviness; he has no relish for 
vice, and but little confidence in virtue ; he conforms to 
the conventionalities of society, and sighs in deep regret 
and remorse over a misspent youth. Those who have 
position and wealth conferred upon them, sufficient to 
lift them above the necessity of labor, and who are 
surroundr.d by elegant society and refined amusements, 
are in danger of occupying their time by seeking 
worldly pleasures and becoming infatuated with self- 


indulgence. Those who do not possess wealth and 
position need not covet, desire, nor envy those who do, 
because the temptations of [such a life are almost cer- 
tain to outweigh the power of resistence. Whoever is 
ambitious for a life of ease, pleasure, and self-indulgence, 
can find an antidote for it in a serious view of its results 
upon others who have lived such a life. Be it remem- 
bered, it is a law of nature that those who lead a life 
of self-indulgence in their early days are sure to live in 
want, woe, and regret in their old age. Be it remem- 
bered that respectable men and women consider a gen- 
tleman of ease and pleasure as dangerous to society — 
inciting the young to sin, leading astray virtuous 
daughters, preparing the way to a sorrowful old age, 
and treasuring up wrath against the day of judgment. 

4. The haste to be rich. This ignoble ambition de- 
sires future good without our cooperation. It consists 
in wishing and not meriting success. It leads man to 
look for success in uncertain caprices, and not in him- 
self; in luck and fortune, and not in thought and work. 
It prompts men to look to wealth and not to character 
as the great aim of life. Men who make haste to be 
rich care not how their riches come, — whether by 
gambling, through the lottery, or by daring specula- 
tion. We are told that such men fall into divers tempt- 
ations. They are tempted to gamble at cards or in 
stocks ; to prefer speculation to legitimate business ; 
to trust in good fortune instead of the conditions of 
success; to resort to questionable means instead of 
honesty and persistent effort. So their life is one of 
regret and failure. 

5. Ambitions of fame. This is a most heinous ambi- 
tion. It has no virtue in it. It cares nothing for men 


save as they constitute the steps by which its possess- 
or rises. It is wholly selfish. It looks not to the ele- 
vation of the many, but to the individual. It has pre- 
cipitated wars, engendered strife and carnage among 
the people, plundered nations, despoiled kings of their 
crowns, and shed the blood of innocent millions. It is 
most difficult to obtain. Life is closed when the race 
is scarcely begun. It is most difficult to maintain. 
The mountain of fame has a top like Mount Blanc ; it is 
covered with perpetual snow; or like the top of 
Long's Peak, composed of huge boulders, from which 
man is ever in danger [of falling. Those who desire 
fame only are generally soon forgotten. " The idol of 
to-day," says Washington Irving, " pushes the hero of 
yesterday out of our recollection and will, in turn, be 
supplanted by his successor of to-morrow." Byron 
pronounced it worthless: — 

" 'T is a snow-ball which derives assistance 
From every flake, and yet rolls on the same, 
Even till an iceberg it may chance to grow ; 
But after all 't is nothing but cold snow." 

It is better to be forgotten than to be recollected as 
some are, who became famous in their time. Who 
would not rather be forgotten than recollected as Jeze- 
bel, Herod, Nero, Messalina, or Richard the Third ? 
After all, " the man is no greater," says Jeremy Tay- 
lor," than what he is in the eyes of God. More fool 
is he who values more the nobility of his blood in being 
a gentleman than the nobility of his soul in being a 
Christian. All the honors of the earth are but splen- 
did vanities, and those who seek after them are like 
boys who hunt after butterflies. Yet many souls have 
perished by them. If David cursed the mountains of 


Gilboa because Saul and Jonathan died upon them, 
with much more reason may we curse the high moun- 
tain of fame upon which so many souls have perished." 
Examples of Ignoble Ambitions. — All history contains 
such examples, — examples of men, many of whom 
fell down before they reached the top of the ladder; 
men who fell broken and crushed ; men who sank be- 
neath the covering of darkness instead of beneath a 
halo of grandeur and greatness. Absalom, the son of 
David, was ambitious to usurp the kingdom from his 
father. He ran with all his might and strength for 
this prize ; but all he got for his running was an ig- 
nominous and untimely death. As he fled to save his 
life, he was hung by the hair of his head on the bough of 
a great oak ; in this posture three darts were thrust 
through his heart by Joab. How many such ambi- 
tious and ignoble climbers in every age have met with 
like disasters and disappointments. Alexander may 
also be taken as a type of ignoble ambition. His de- 
sire was to conquer and not to rule. When his father 
had won a battle or taken a town, the envious son 
would say to his companions, "My father will go on 
conqueririg, till there will be nothing extraordinary for 
you and me to do." We are told that he was morti- 
fied at the number of stars, considering that he had not 
been able to conquer one world. "To the barbar- 
ians," says Plutarch, "he carried himself very haugh- 
tily, as if he was fully pursuaded of his divine birth 
and parentage." Such an ignoble ambition was justly 
doomed to disappointment. Before he had completed 
his conquests, in the very prime of life, he died in a 
delirium produced by a draught of wine. Napoleon is 
another example of an ignoble ambition. He was a 


great genius, though no hero. He proclaimed war, 
again and again, without just cause. Thousands met 
their death to gratify his ambitions. Says Mr. Lub- 
bock : " What came of all his victories ? They passed 
away like the smoke of his guns, and he left France 
weaker, poorer and smaller than he found her. The 
most lasting result to his genius is no military glory, 
but the Code Napoleon." These three men are ex- 
treme illustrations of ignoble ambition, but they serve 
as examples of warning to the ungodly for all succeed- 
ing generations. Ye who possess ignoble ambitions, 
beware lest ye fall short of the mark aimed at, and die 
broken hearted and in regret and disappointment. 
" Could we know the heart-breaks," says Spurgeon, 
"and weariness of ambitious men, we should need no 
Wolsey's voice crying, ' I charge thee, fling away am- 
bition ! ' but we should flee from it as from the most ac- 
cursed blood-suckling vampire which ever uprose from 
the caverns of hell." 


" He that seeketh to be eminent among stable men, 
hath a great task ; but that is ever good for the public ; 
but he that plots to be the only figure among cyphers, 
is the decay of the whole age " Bacon. 

The secret of success in life, of all greatness and of 
all happiness, is to live for a purpose. A life without 
noble ambitions is an unhappy life. Men without such 
ambitions fritter away their energies and accomplish 
nothing. Like butterflies they flit from spot to spot, 
never gaining wealth, while the ant that keeps to its 
circuit lays up stores for winter comforts. Every 
young man should have definite ambitions. He 


should be ambitious for knowledge and usefulness ; 
with a vim he should follow some pursuit — literary, 
scientific, artistic, business, — no matter what, so long as 
there is something honorable to labor for and overcome. 
There are certain well defined aims which every young 
man should start with and be ambitious to attain. If 
every youth would begin life with some definite objects 
in view, his time would not be wasted and his energies 
vainly spent. In old age he would reflect with pride 
and satisfaction upon the past. Of the noble ambi- 
tions of life we shall mention several. 

i. The aspirations to be a man. A man in the best 
sense of the word. This is one of the richest words in 
our language. Man is the crowning part of creation. 
He is the reasoning, thinking, knowing, developing, 
self-directing animal of this world. He has affection, 
which makes him kind, generous and considerate of the 
wants and interests of others. He has a conscience 
which gives him a sense of what is right, good, holy, 
and divine ; these three — reason, affection, and con- 
science — unite in man. Whoever starts out in life with 
an ambition to be a man of reason, affection, and con- 
science, begins well. This aspiration should ennoble 
the soul of every young man. Man is the proper study 
of man. Man is made in the image of God. He is a 
noble piece of God's workmanship. He is an heir of 
glory. It should be the ambition of every youth to be 
a man of purpose, decision, honesty, courage, and 

2. The aspiration of filial obedience. — One of the 
most liberal thinkers of the present century says : 
" The young man of to-day measures himself with the 
man of many years ; before his school days are over, 


the boy thinks and declares himself equal to his sire. 
This notion of the quality of mind is carried so far that 
the judgment of eighteen has as much authority as that 
of fifty. " Striplings of youth frequently speak and act 
as if they were students grown gray in thought. 
They pay but little respect to the advice and wisdom 
of their seniors. There is a sense in which the 
thoroughly educated young man is in some respects as 
old at twenty-five as the uneducated at forty. But we 
are now considering the youth of very limited knowl- 
edge, who is full of hearsay, conjecture, and imagina- 
tion. They know not what life is. They have but little 
actual experience, and are living in dreams, promises 
and imaginations. To all young men and women who 
are entering upon life let me urge you to respect your 
mother's love, and obey your father's words. They 
have taught you the truths of righteousness ; they de- 
sire you to become good and great ; they look upon the 
flush of hope which brightens your cheek, and earnestly 
pray for your welfare. The comfort of their old age 
depends largely upon your conduct; you have a very 
indistinct conception of their hearts. Then let me im- 
press upon you that wherever you go, and whatever 
you do, ltt your hearts ever be warm towards the 
home that nurtured you ; keep in close communion 
with the dear ones at home ; never let the demands of 
business or society cause you to forget to write the 
letters that carry light to your mother's eyes and joy 
to your father's heart. Oh, think of that patient, pray- 
ing mother at home ; think how her love clings fast to 
you ; let come what may, it will never loosen. Obey 
your parents ; be proud of them ; contribute to their 
happiness, for the day may come when you will be glad 


to turn back to the old home that tenaerly cared for 
you ; and when your parents' influence will save you, 
when otherwise you would have been lost. 

3. Secular Employment. — Everybody should be am- 
bitious to engage in and to carry on to success some 
honorable business or profession. It is absolutely im- 
possible for man to be happy and contented unless he 
has something to do. This is the experience of all peo- 
ple. Man was made to work. Active employment is 
good for his body, soul, and spirit. There can be no 
progress without it. Man must be active in order to 
be in harmony with the universe. Every man has a 
niche to fill, " Nature intended everybody for some- 
thing." The first work is to find out what nature in- 
tended the man for, and the next step is to prepare for 
that work, engage in it, live in it, and make it yield a 
support. Efficient workmen are always in demand. 
But few men can succeed in many things. "This one 
thing I do," should be the motto of every man. To be 
skilled and successful in one's work is a noble ambition. 
The life work once chosen and entered, remember 
that temperance, diligence, integrity, frugality and 
patience will win success. It requires years to become 
experienced and established in every honorable busi- 
ness, and he who gives up after making a few trials is 
not worthy of success. We are told that time and in- 
dustry will change the mulberry leaf to satin, and so 
will a patient and continued effort change a man's cir- 
cumstances from poverty to fortune. The successful 
mechanic is the one who has learned his trade and 
sticks to it. The successful business man is the one 
who understands his business and pushes it. The suc- 
cessful professional man is the one who is master of his 


profession. The successful mother is the one who un- 
derstands the art of governing the household. A care- 
ful preparation and persistent effort will enrich even an 
ordinary life with the prize of success. Oh, that all 
young men and women could realize that they have a 
work to do, and it will not be done unless they do it. 
You exist for something nobler than to laugh, drink, 
and dance. Form good resolutions, noble ambitions, 
and make a skillful preparation for your life. 
Ambitious for Knowledge — 

" What need 

To paint its power ? For this the daring youth 
Breaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms, 
In foreign climes to rove ; the pensive sage, 
Heedless of sleep, or the midnight's harmful damp, 
Hangs o 'er the sickly taper; and, untired, 
The virgin follows, with enchanted step, 
The mazes of some wild and wondrous tale, 
From morn to eve. Hence finally, by night, 
The village matron, round the blazing hearth, 
Suspends the infant audience with her tales, 
Breathing astonishment." (F. R. Boyd.) 

Knowledge, rightfully considered and rightly used, 
is power and happiness. Says Franklin : "We must 
educate, we must educate, or must perish by our own 
prosperity." Young men and women, educate your- 
selves for the great struggle of life ; educate yourselves 
because an education will open to you the richest trea- 
sures of the most richly endowed intellects ; it will call 
your own faculties into the highest exercise ; it will de- 
velop your tastes; it will correct your judgments; it 
will purify your hearts; it will prepare you for useful- 
ness, and make you valuable members of society. 


Read papers, magazines and books that bear upon your 
business and professions ; inform yourself upon scientific 
subjects; "a little chemistry will teach a farmer 
whether his soil needs animal or mineral additions ; a 
little hydrostatics will save many a foot of pipe for the 
plumber ; a little geology will keep a man from digging 
a hundred feet for coal in formations where it can not 
exist; a little mineralogy will prevent the miner from 
mistaking mica for gold ; a little mathamatics will aid 
the builder in estimating the strength of timber, walls, 
and arches. In a word, there is not a trade or em- 
ployment in which a little science can not be turned to 
account. There is not a single art of peace or war 
which can not be conducted more successfully by the 
educated than by the uneducated man." The time has 
arrived when half-way mechanics, haif-way merchants, 
half-educated physicians, lawyers, teachers and preach- 
ers are crowded to the wall. Competency is in demand, 
while mediocrity and ignorance are below par. In 
your pursuit of knowledge I would urge you to study 
God's word ; know something of Him who made you, 
and something of the salvation by which you are made 
free. Be awake to the reception of knowledge from 
all sources ; acquire it by reading, meditating, con- 
versing, traveling, attending lectures, etc. After you 
have embarked in the pursuit of knowledge, go for- 
ward in it without fearing the results. Follow it as a 
guiding star. It will lead you to light, success, and 
happiness. Sydney Smith declared that " but for the 
love of knowledge, I should consider the life of the 
meanest hedger and ditcher as preferable to the great- 
est man of wealth here present, if he possessed but 
little knowledge. " If you have one settled purpose 


and concentrated aim next to serving God, let it be the 
pursuit of knowledge. The pleasure you derive from 
the acquisition of knowledge will give you mental sat- 
isfaction and exultation, and will greatly enlarge your 
sphere of usefulness. 

5. Be Ambitions to Make Progress. — Man improves 
his condition ; animals do not. Each to-morrow should 
find you better than to-day. Without progress there 
would be no advance in wealth, science, art, and litera 
ture. Let your sentiments be: " forgetting the things 
behind, reaching out for the things before." "Let us 
go on unto perfection," " Be ye therefore perfect, even 
as your Father in Heaven is perfect." " Till we all 
come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of 
the Son of God unto a perfect man, into the measure 
of the fullness of Christ. " Obedience to such prim 
ciples is the secret of the Christian's success. Let each 
succeeding year find you on a higher vantage ground. 
Progress is written on everything. You can avail your- 
self of the acquisitions of your predecessors without 
the labor to which they were subjected, and thus you 
can commence your career at the boundary of theirs. 
Your position is a superior one. Opportunities to re- 
ceive and impart knowledge, to receive good and to do 
good, are yours. Each decade should, in a measure, find 
you a new man; find you greatly improved in knowl- 
edge, in wisdom, in manners, in morals, and in religion, 

6. The Ambition of Patriotism. — "I was born an 
American. I like an American. I shall die an Ameri- 
can" (Daniel Webster.) America and the nineteenth 
century ! These two words should stir the heart of 
every youth. America: free from the pensioned fa- 
vorites and proud aristocrats of Europe ; free from 


the tyranny and oppression of Asia ; and free from the 
ignorance and superstition of Africa and South Amer- 
ica. The ninteenth century : an age in which every 
true work will receive a true reward, and every noble 
ambition will have a door open to its welcome. What 
a glorious privilege to live in such a land, and in such 
an age. And what a shame would it be to die in such 
a land and in such an age, and to have taken no part 
in it, and done no work for our country's good. Let 
the attitude of young Americans toward the incoming 
peoples from the oppressed nations of the old world 
be one of Christian hospitality. As long as we permit 
them to come we must educate, reform, Americanize 
and Christianize them. We must not yield to their 
base customs and their anarchial notions, but shape 
our laws and intercourse with them for their improve- 
ment and elevation. The health and hope of our country 
rest in the noble aspirations of the rising generations 
of our American people. Young men and women, I 
charge you be true to America. Be inoculated with 
American principles ; maintain just government and 
the patriotic principles which you have inherited from 
your ancestors. Using the words of Rufus Choate, 
let us "join ourselves to no party that does not carry 
the flag and keep step to the music of the Union." As 
we are all in the ship of state, let us ever sing the words 
of Longfellow : 

" Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee, 
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears, 
Our faith, triumphant o'er our fears, 
Are all with thee, — are all with thee." 

7. The Ambition to Do Good. — A life of beneficence 
and extensive usefulness is one that purchases unsullied 


honor and is crowned with a good name. There are so 
many opportunities to do good that no one should de- 
spair of it who has a disposition to do so. Neither 
wealth, nor station, nor genius, are necessary to do 
good. For the Lord of life, who went about doing 
good, chose his disciples from the humblest classes, 
knowing that they would be of extensive usefulness in 
the world. The world cares for a man in proportion to 
the good that he does. " Whosoever will be great 
among you, let him be your minister, and whosever 
will be chief among you let, him be your servant." If 
you have knowledge, you .can do good by imparting it 
to others. Let your uppermost throught be to do the 
good thing or say the good word when the occasion 
presents itself. A word or a look may decide the 
question of your friend's whole life. Your presence in 
the season of distress may be that of an angel of mercy. 
Your help in a time of need may relieve one who would 
have otherwise been overwhelmed with despondency. 
The principle of doing good was never so active as it is 
to-day. You see it in the self-denying course of the mis- 
sionary bearing the glad tidings to the benighted of the 
earth ; you see it in the unprecedented efforts of Chris- 
tian women in rescuing young men from the saloon. 
and the drunkard's doom ; you see it in the many 
charitable organizations which care for the outcast, the 
wanderer, and the pauper. You see it in the thousands 
of churches whose happy members are going here and 
there to the fatherless, the widows, and the fallen ; you 
see it in the institutions of the government in provid- 
ing homes for the paupers, the blind, the deaf, the 
dumb, the insane, and the idiotic. Men are every- 
where beginning to feel that they are their brothers 


keepers. The moral hero, and not the military hero, is 
now being worshiped. Those who live to do good are 
fighting a noble battle, under the leadership of the 
greatest of captains, and are certain of a grand victory 
and an eternal glory. 

Men of Noble Ambition. — Think of Socrates, Paul, 
Luther, and Columbus. Such men's lives can not be 
compressed into biography. They lived for all time. 
Men whose names are forgotten lorded it over Socrates. 
A famous rhetorician thought it condescension to argue 
with him. His disciples once forsook him to hear the 
celebrated Protagoras. Socrates was unmoved, a plain 
spoken man, who kept right on, animated with a noble 
ambition to teach what he concieved to be the truth, 
whether it should be antagonistic to politicians, or 
orators, or poets ; he was strong in principle and the 
hope that truth would triumph. Columbus was animated 
with a noble ambition. His theories were long consid- 
ered extravagant ; his schemes futile ; both philoso- 
phers and theologians opposed him. He applied with- 
out success to government after government. Business 
men said, " He is a visionary ; " theologians said, " He 
is a heretic." For seven years he labored in vain. For- 
tunately he met with a woman who helped him. She 
furnished the vessels in which he sailed to the greatest 
country on earth. Although he met with chains and 
imprisonment, neglect and pain, yet his profound con- 
victions and his attained ambitions gave him support 
and strength. Think of Dante. He was condemned 
to be burned alive on false charges based upon public 
report. Wholly unconscious of the glory that awaited 
him, he pathetically wrote to his beloved Florence, 
" My people, what have I done to you ? " He renounced 


the temporal power of the popes. He threw his noble 
soul into the great poem of his life, and fought the 
good fight until the last. He refused to submit to the 
wrong, saying, " He would live under the sun and stars 
and see the truth, but not make himself infamous." 
Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, was ambitious 
to preach the gospel. He lived in this, and was deter- 
mined to know nothing else. He was inspired by hope. 
Although beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned, and op- 
posed by Jews and Pagans, he continued to preach the 
gospel. Charles Sumner was a man of noble ambitions. 
He lived to serve his country and his fellow-men. 
Priests, elders and politicians misunderstood him. The 
common people loved him. He defended the right, 
though it placed him on the side of the weaker party. 
The secret of his life and the greatness of his aspira- 
tions may be found in his own words which are express- 
ive of true glory: "Whatever may be the temporary 
applause of men or the expressions of public opinion it 
may be asserted without fear of contradiction that no 
true and permanent fame can be founded except in 
labors which promote the happiness of mankind." 
John Adams, the second President of the United States, 
is another good example of worthy ambition. Early 
in life he formed a taste for knowledge and became am- 
bitious for an education. He became a teacher. As 
a teacher he was ambitious to enter the legal profes- 
sion. Into this he carried his religious principles. He 
had a long and hard struggle as a lawyer, but success 
came at last. His country asked for his services as 
counselor, as delegate to the colonial congress, as min- 
ister to foreign countries, and finally as President of 
the United States. He was on the committee which 


drafted the Declaration of Independence. He nomi- 
nated Washington for Commander-in-chief. In the 
month of July, 1776, after the vote had been taken 
which assured independence to the Colonies, he wrote 
in his diary: "The greatest question was decided 
which was ever debated in America. This day will be 
the most memorable epoch in the history of America. 
It will be celebrated by succeeding generations, com- 
memorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts 
of devotion to Almighty God, from one end of the 
continent to the other." As a patriot, as a citizen, as 
a man, and as a -Christian, he stands as a magnificent 
example. As a youth, he had noble ambitions; these 
he followed through the most trying times till he was 
rewarded by receiving the highest position which the 
American people could bestow upon him. 


Some one has said: " There is as much in aiming 
as there is in shooting." Aim at some object. Trust 
not in luck for good success. " Aim high, though you 
fall short of the mark." A high and honorable failure is 
better than a low success. Those succeed who deserve 
to succeed. A failure will hurt no one unless he loses 
heart. Lubbock declares that an honorable defeat is 
better than a mean victory. If you have inward worth, 
aim high, for there is nothing manly in a bright man 
putting his power on a level with an ignoramus. Bacon 
assures us, "If a man look sharp and attentively he 
will see fortune ; for though she is blind, she is not in- 
visible." Aim at that which you have the ability to 
reach. If you will aim high and make the best of 
your opportunities, your lives will grow brighter and 


brighter as the years go by, and others will see your 
good works, take courage and serve humanity and God. 
lave Faith. — Have faith in your ambitions. Have 
faith in the immortality of your soul. Have faith in 
God. Faith in a good God is essential to goodness. 
Put faith in Providence, in progress, and in man. 
This will inspire faith in yourself and develop in you 
worthy ambitions. The religion of our blessed Saviour 
will inspire you with an ambition for this life and for 
the life to come. This religion is the power that has 
carried forward civilization ; it is the lamp that has illu- 
minated the halls of learning and inspired men with 
aspirations to greatness, and goodness. 

When your ambitions are made up, in order to at- 
tain them, there must be no looking back, the sparing 
of no labor, and the shrinking from no danger. Let 
not poverty hinder you. The greatest men have risen 
from the lowest ranks; they have triumphed over ob- 
stacles which seemed unsurmountable. David was a 
shepherd ; Peter, a fisherman ; Paul, a tent-maker ; 
Franklin, the son of a tallow chandler ; Faraday, the 
son of a blacksmith ; Luther was poor during his whole 
life ; Estey, the famous organ man, was given away when 
a child ; Rodger Sherman was a shoemaker ; Homer's 
birthplace is unknown. There are a thousand examples 
which serve to show that poverty is one of the best 
tests of human quality in existence. It is oftener an 
advantage to a young man than it is an obstacle in his 
way to success. Rely upon yourselves. Others may 
contribute to your success in life, but the largest mea- 
sure of it will be worked out by your head, hands, and 
heart. God gives the garden and vineyard, but on the 
man depends what sort of flowers and fruit they bring 


forth. We are more the creatures of will power 
than we are of circumstances. Patient and persistent 
effort will tell. Earnestly take hold of the work in 
hand. Wait for nothing to turn up. Work out your 
own destiny. Read no fairy tales. Remember, great 
men are never baffled by disappointment or overcome 
by obstacles. They learned by failure. They tried 
again and again before success came. Wait not for 
genius; "while genius is waiting, lying on the sofa 
waiting for inspiration, labor will go to work, buy that 
sofa, and put genius out of the back door." 

Youth is the time to lay the plans for the future 
life. It is the period to form and develope the charac- 
ter for manhood and old age. It is the season to bring 
into subjection the body with all its appetites and pas- 
sions ? It is the seed time to sow righteousness for 
both time and eternity. It is the time above all others 
to deal honestly with self, with the world, and with 

Using the words of Napoleon, ' ' the centuries look 
down upon you." You are encompassed by a great 
cloud of witnesses ; your future is pregnant with most 
stupendous events. The electric light of knowledge is 
illuminating your path. Nature is yielding her forces 
to accellerate your speed. Some of the greatest ques- 
tions of our nation are as yec undecided. Battles are 
to be fought in the halls of congress and in the forum 
and field. Giants of danger are threatening us on all 
sides. Put the armor upon you ; let it be one that is 
tried, one of steel that is tempered in the fire, and one 
that will protect you from the darts of the enemy. 
For this warfare you need weapons : the weapon of a 
manly heart, a noble ambition, a determined purpose, 


a thorough preparation, a strict integrity, and a deep 
seated faith in yourself, in the work you have to do, in 
humanity, and in God. 


A review of the whole progress of science presents 
a great history, although it is almost entirely the crea- 
tion of the past four centuries. The ancient Greeks 
sought for the fundamental laws of nature which it is 
the object of science to understand, yet they altogether 
failed in physical science. This has been attributed by 
some to neglect of observation ; and by some to their 
not employing inductive reasoning. Facts of nature 
Surrounded them as they surround us, yet the art of 
scientific observation and discovery had to be developed, 
and its growth was slow. 

None, or next to none, of the science of the an- 
cient Greeks is embodied in the science of to-day. 
Their ideas were mostly erroneous. Thales said: " All 
things are produced from water." Anaxamander 
thought that the actual size of the sun was less than 
that of the earth. Amaximanes said : ' ' All things 
come from the air, and unto the air return." He 
thought that plants and animals were derived from the 
atmosphere, and were but condensed air. Pythogoras 
thought that number was the essence of all things. 
Plato conceived things to be what they are only by 
their participation in the ideas. He claimed that phil- 
osophy does not turn upon physical science ; indeed, 
he attached but little importance to it. The Alexan- 
drian school remained in its best condition for a few 



centuries, yet the arts of experiment, observation, and 
induction were not developed in its midst. At Alex- 
andria the Greek science came into contact with other 
influences. The Arabians passed on the torch of 
knowledge to later generations. Amongst the priests 
of that period, science was despised and neglected : it 
was held to be false and empty. Says a theological 
writer of the fourth century: " To search for the cause 
of natural things, to inquire whether the sun is as large 
as he seems ; whether the moon is fixed or conclave ; 
whether the stars are fixed in the skies or fly freely in 
the air : and of what size and what material are the 
heavens, whether they be at rest or in motion ; what is 
the magnitude of the earth, on what foundation it is 
suspended and balanced ; to dispute on such matters is 
just as if we chose to discuss what we think of a city 
in the Roman country of which we never heard." 

As natural science was considered by the priests to 
be worse than useless, the study of it was left to the 
Arabians and Jews, both races inheriting their ideas 
from the schools of the Alexandrians. 

During the middle ages there arose, in connection 
with theology, what is called the " scholastic philoso- 
phy. ' - It imposed upon the progress of natural science 
those terrible bonds which were broken by the genius 
of Bacon and Galileo. 

It may be well to mention here some of the con- 
flicts between science and religion. It is admitted by 
the leading theologians of the day, that the acceptance 
of truths in science and facts of evolution has not in 
the least affected any vital proposition of theology. 
There is certainly no conflict between Christianity and 
science. Truth can not be opposed to itself. Chris- 


tianity has nothing to fear from any results of physical 
science. The leading divines are prepared to accept at 
once all the developemnts of true science. John Wil- 
liam Draper, in his Natural Developments of Europe, 
says: "The motion of the earth around the sun, the 
antiquity of the globe, the origin of the species, are 
doctrines which have had to force their way in the 
manner described in this book, not against philosophi- 
cal opposition, but opposition of a totally different char- 
acter. And yet the interests which resisted them so 
strenuously have received no damage from their estab- 
lishment, beyond that consequent in the discredit of 
having so resist them." 

In an admirable article in the Forum for Septem- 
ber, iSSS, T. T. Munger says: "Religion has gained 
from science." He goes on to name and discuss the 
following five gains which religion has received from 
science : 

1. Science has deepened reverence. 

2. Science has taught religion to think according to 
cause and effect. 

3. Science has delivered religion from its heaviest 
incubus, superstition. 

4. Science has put religion on the track of the im- 
mediate truth, that moral laws are never lost. 

5. Science is delivering religion from the miserable 
habit of defending doctrines and supposed truths be- 
cause of their apparent usefulness. 

He concludes the article by saying that "science 
is of immense help in the search after truth; it opens 
paths, it smooths the way, it prescribes methods, it ar- 
ranges facts. But truth itself, the truth of God, of 
man, of duty, of character, of destiny ; this still re- 


mains in the hands of religion and always will remain 

It is interesting to trace out the turning points in 
the history of science. If we were to ask for some of 
the causes which have so powerfully contributed to the 
rapid progress of science during the last four centuries, 
we would say that it is the growth of the arts of obser- 
vation and experiment. Ancient philosophers assumed 
many things to be simple which we now know to be 
complex. The air they supposed, was an element 
whose properties were few and its conditions uniform. 
The scholar now knows that the air is a compound of 
nitrogen, oxygen, carbonic acid, and other gaseous 
matters ; and we also know that it contains liquid and 
solid particles of various kinds, organic fragments, ova 
of plants and germs of disease. It is subject to many 
different conditions and susceptible of infinite varia- 

There are doubtless other peculiarites yet to be dis- 
covered, besides the known conditions which include 
its temperature, density, humidity, electrical status, 
etc. These principles have been happily expressed : 
" Observation is the rinding of facts and experiment is 
the making of them." Numerous apparatus and ap- 
pliances are used in discovering facts, and in experi- 
menting. Hundreds of instruments have been invented 
and are now in use which were not dreamt of in primi- 
tive times. 

Science of to-day is practical as well as speculative. 
Immediate application of scientific discoveries is made 
in every day life. In this respect there is a vast im- 
provement over the abstract ideas of the ancients. We 
scarcely need introduce a series of examples to illus- 


trate the advantages which civilization has derived from 
these applications of science. Think of the electric 
wires by which we speed our thoughts from state to 
state and from nation to nation ; the phonograph by 
which the dead are made to speak ; the telephone by 
which we hold conversation with distant friends ; the 
stenograph by which we record speech as fast as uttered ; 
the steam engine which turns the wheels of commerce ; 
the microscope by which we detect the wonders of 
water, earth and air ; dynamite and other powerful ex- 
plosives by which the walls of tyrannical kings are 
thrown down ; the locomotive which enables us to an- 
nihilate space ; the steamship which transports us from 
sea to sea, and from continent to continent ; the bal- 
loon by which we sail through the air as a bird ; the 
spectroscope, which tells us that the sun, stars, and 
nebulae are made of materials for the most part identi- 
cal with those of earth ; and many other wonders, 
which, were they not so familiar to us, would seem like 
fairy tales. 

Light, heat, electricity, magnetism, chemical af- 
finity, and motion are all so many manifestations of 
energy, and this energy is as indestructible as matter, 
the subject neither of increase nor diminution. The 
growth here from homogenous to heterogenous is well 
illustrated and expressed by Robert Routledge, who 
compares the starry heavens to the flight of fire-flies : 
" Could we but view the constellations diminished into 
the dimensions of a swarm of insects, and ages of dura- 
tion proportionately shrunk into seconds ; such is the 
spectacle the so-called fixed stars would present to our 
gaze." We now know positively that there is reason 
for believing that all these distant suns are moving with 


inconceivable velocity ; they are borne hither and 
thither by a vast, all-pervading energy. We must not 
pass this subject, however, without criticising the mater- 
ialistic tendency of the age. We are certainly thank- 
ful for what science has done for the world ; but to 
idolize a man because he has discovered a bird track in 
some fossil is foolishness ; to allow science to absorb us 
to the neglect of the beautiful and spiritual is wrong. 
It makes a man one-sided, and destroys the God-given 
faculty of imagination. I fear that the great tendency 
to be scientific has dwarfed our arts and literature, and 
is becoming antagonistic to the idea that "there is 
nothing great in the world but man, and nothing great 
in man but mind." Let us hail and work for the civili- 
zation in which the practical and ideal, the useful and 
the aesthetic, the scientific and the spiritual, shall be 
harmoniously blended. 


Individual life and national life are intimately con- 
nected. The national life is the individual life on a 
large scale. According to Plato, what we read in one 
case in small characters, we read in the other in large 

Perhaps decisive battles mark more distinctive 
"turning points in national history " than any other 
agency. There have been battles fought in which, had 
the defeated party been victorious, the nation's subse- 
quent history would have been greatly changed. Great 
issues have been staked upon a single battle. The re- 
sults of a battle are not limited to a single age ; they 
give an impulse which sways the history of successive 
generations and plays a part in shaping the destinies of 


governments and institutions. Creasy 's "Fifteen De- 
cisive Battles of the World" is a wellknown and ex- 
cellent book which discusses some of the great battles 
in which tremendous issues were involved. 

One of the decisive battles in the history of Europe 
was that fought at Marathon, 490 B. C, between the 
Athenians [and Persians. Miltiades led ten thousand 
Athenians against one hundred thousand Persians. -The 
Athenians gained the victory. Had Athens been cap- 
tured by the Persians, Greece no doubt would have 
become a Persian province. Asia had precipitated 
itself upon Europe, and Western civilization was for the 
moment trembling in the balance. Had the Persians 
gained the victory, the history of Europe, instead of 
being that of a free and progressive nation, might have 
been like the history of Asia, — one of oppressors and 
their slaves. This victory of the Athenians won for 
them a worldwide fame for valor and patriotism. For 
centuries afterwards the anniversary of Marathon was 
celebrated, and the citizens of Athens were pointed to 
that great day which saved their country and checked 
the western march of the Persians. 

A decisive battle was fought at Syracuse, B. C. 413. 
In this battle the greatness of Roman posterity was in- 
volved. The Romans defeated the Athenians and 
destroyed their fleets. Had the Athenians been vic- 
torious, they no doubt would have conquered Carthage, 
and the Greek tongue instead of the Latin would have 
become the principal element in the language of 
France, Spain and Italy ; and the laws of Athens, 
rather than of Rome, might have become the founda- 
tion of the laws of the civilized world. This battle 


rendered all danger from Athens to the nations of the 
West forever at an end. 

Another decisive battle was fought between Poictiers 
and Tours, France, A.D. 732. In this, Europe was saved 
from the encroachments of the Mohammedans. They 
had contemplated, according to their own writers, such a 
line of conquest as would subordinate all Europe to the 
ravages of the Saracens. Charles Martel, "the Ham- 
mer," led the French against the wild Arabs, and 
completely defeated them, thus securing France, Italy, 
and probably all of Europe, from the ascendency of the 

In A. D. 1429, the national independence of France 
seemed lost inevitably. She had suffered a series of 
dreadful defeats which had thinned the ranks of her 
soldiers and daunted the spirits of her citizens. A 
foreign king had been proclaimed in her capital ; for- 
eign armies of brave veterans led by able captains oc- 
cupied the fairest portions of her territory. Her con- 
dition, in every respect, was most miserable and 
deplorable. The eyes of all Europe were turned toward 
the battle at Orleans where France was to make her 
last stand for maintaining the independence of her 
Monarchy and the rights of her Sovereign. The En- 
glish invaders completed their lines around Orleans. 
The enthusiastic Joan of Arc led the French to victory. 
The English were defeated, and ere long France was 
left to reign in peace and repose. 

England passed a "turning point" when she was 
attacked by the Spanish Armada, in 1588. On the 
one side was the Spanish fleet backed by Portuguese 
carracks, Florentine hulks, and war-ships from other 
countries, which represented the wealth, pride and 


power of Roman Catholicism. On the other side was 
the royal navy of England, assisted by three score war 
ships of Holland, which represented the Protestant 
sentiment of the English and the Dutch. The Spanish 
Armada sailed along the coast of England in the 
form of a crescent seven miles in length. All Europe 
looked on in fearful suspense to behold the results of 
that great struggle, to see what the craft of Rome 
would achieve against the Island Queen. The Spanish 
navy, which had been deemed invincible, was shattered 
by the weaker vessels of the English, and less than one- 
third of them returned to the coast of Spain from 
which they sailed in such pride and ostentation. Would 
not the subsequent history of England have been 
greatly changed if she had been defeated in this battle ? 
We shall pass by the battle of Trafalgar, A. D. 1805, 
when the combined fleets of Spain and France were de- 
feated by Commodore Nelson, and briefly notice the 
great battle of Waterloo, in which all Europe was so 
greatly interested. The power of Napoleon was felt 
throughout all Europe. Prussians, Austrians, Germans, 
Spaniards, and English combined to defeat Napoleon. 
All Europe was in arms against France. The allies, in 
spite of their enormous preponderance of forces, would 
willingly shrink from meeting Napoleon. They would 
venture on no movement in the presence of Napoleon, 
except with overwhelming forces and powerful reserves 
behind. The Duke of Wellington considered his pres- 
ence equal to an addition of forty thousand men to the 
number of his army. Napoleon feared not the million 
men who were in arms against him. He thought the 
bullet was not cast that would kill him. But the resist- 
less might of Europe was setting in upon him, and he 


could not achieve miracles. In vain he sent to Paris, 
artillery, flags, and prisoners ; the crisis must come ; 
the last victory must be won ; the end must be near. 
The battle was fought at Waterloo, 1815. The Duke 
of Wellington, commanding a total of sixty-seven thou- 
sand men, met Napoleon at the head of seventy thou- 
sand well disciplined French soldiers. On that event- 
ful October day one of the fiercest battles was fought 
in the history of the whole world. The Duke of Wel- 
lington lost twenty-two thousand men — killed and 
wounded — while Napoleon's loss was still greater. Alt 
such a fearful price was the deliverance of Europe pur- 
chased, the pride of France humbled, and the glory of 
England firmly established. Napoleon had one conso- 
lation : " England has done me much harm, undoubt- 
edly ; but I have left a poisoned arrow in her side. It 
is I who have augmented her national debt, that will 
press upon future generations and will become an un- 
ceasingly oppressive if not an overwhelming burden to 

her. " 

It is supposed that upon the night of the very 

day when he spoke of poisoning England, he took 
poison himself, but ineffectually. He exclaimed : 
"How difficult is death here! and how easy on the 
battle-field ! Ah, why did I not die at Arsis-sur-Aube, 
where twenty thousand French opposed during a whole 
day ninety thousand Austrians. " 

In glancing back through the history of the nations 
of the old world it is interesting to speculate on "if 
something had happened which didn't happen, what 
would have happened afterward?" No one can an- 
swer this inquiry. If Themistocles had lost the battle 
of Salamis ; if Miltiades had lost the battle of Mara- 


thon ; if Hasdrubal had won the battle of Metaurus ; 
if the Saracens had defeated Martel; if the Earl of 
Marlborough had lost in his campaigns against France ; 
if Napoleon had defeated the Allies — would not the 
subsequent history of Europe and the world have been 
greatly altered and many fine philisophical theories be 
destroyed before their birth ? But here as in many 
other places is the mighty, little "if." If Jonah had 
not preached, Ninevah had not repented ; if Ninevah 

had not repented, she would have been overthrown. 


Turning points in the history of America. 

Humboldt refers to the discovery of America as a 
"wonderful concatenation of trivial circumstances." 
One sultry day, beneath the fierce heat of the Spanish 
sun, a weary traveler by the name of Columbus asked 
for a drink of water at a convent door. The prior, be- 
ing struck by his appearance and simplicity of ideas, 
gave him the introduction which he had long sought, 
which led to the equipping of vessels and the furnishing 
of supplies, which led to the discovery of America. 

Washington Irving has justly observed that "if Col- 
umbus had resisted the counsel of Martin Alonzo Pin- 
zon, and continued to steer westward, he would have 
entered the Gulf Stream, and been born to Florida, and 
from thence probably to Cape Hatteras and Virginia — 
a circumstance of incalculable importance, since it 
might have been the means of giving to the United 
States of North America a Catholic Spanish population 
in the place of the Protestant English one by which 
these regions were subsequently settled. It seems 
to me like an inspiration, said Pinzon to the Admiral, 
that my heart dictates to me that we ought to steer in 


a different direction. It was on the strength of this 
circumstance that, in the celebrated lawsuit which Pin- 
zon brought against the heirs of Columbus, between 
1 5 13 and 15 1 5, he maintained that the discovery of 
America was alone due to him. This inspiration Pin- 
zon owed, as related by an old sailor at the time of the 
trial, to the flight of a flock of parrots, which he had 
discovered in the evening flying toward the southwest, 
in order, as he might well have conjectured, to roost 
on trees on the land. Never has the flight of birds 
been attended with more important results." 

The thirteenth of September, 1759, settled the 
question as to whether America should belong to 
France. On that eventful day, the gigantic ambition 
of France was foiled by the red-haired hero of Quebec. 
The power of France was destroyed in the new 
world, and the power of England confirmed. Canada 
was forever ceded to Great Britian. Had France gained 
the victory instead of England, it would have meant 
the sway of the despots and the Jesuits on the conti- 
nent of the free. It would have meant the mass-book, 
the thumbscrew, and an infernal religious zeal. 

Another critical period of history was settled at 
Saratoga in October, 1777 ; it was then that Burgoyne 
surrendered to Gates. When these victorious tidings 
reached Europe, France, Spain, and Holland acknowl- 
edged the independence of America. The struggle 
was soon over ; Cornwallis laid down his arms at York- 
town, and the wings of liberty were unfurled. Future 
independence was forever established. We passed an- 
other critical period during the recent war, but, thank 
God ! it is over, and the brave South bows in humble 
submission and rallies around the "flag of the free 


heart's hope and home." And so it is written in God's 
book of Destiny that over our American homes should 
wave neither the lion of Spain, nor the golden lilies 
of France, nor the union jack of England, but the 
stars and stripes of the United States. America was 
not intended for Spanish bigotry, nor for French ambi- 
tion, nor for English aristocracy, but for reforma- 
tion, development, liberty and Christianity. It seems 
to me that the hand of God has surely interposed in 
the history of this nation, and by such an interposition 
he has led the people to truth and victory. Who can 
tell what would have been the results if Washington 
had surrendered to Cornwallis, or Grant to Lee? But 
this was not the will of God. As respects our own 
native land, I know not what great reformations may 
take place in the years to come ; I know not what great 
battles may be fought, struggles endured, and victories 
won ; I know not what great inventions and discoveries 
may spring from the minds of men of genius ; but I do 
most candidly believe that one of the greatest turning 
points this nation will ever pass in her great history 
will be when she enacts and enforces a law that will 
forever prohibit the manufacture, sale and importation 
of intoxicating liquor as a beverage. 


There is just as much difference between the form 
of godliness and the power of godliness as there is be- 
tween counterfeit money and genuine money, or pre- 
tended friendship and real friendship. There is a form 
of godliness which is not godliness, any more than a 
stuffed animal is a real animal. It may have the form 
and appearance, but it lacks the life and power. 
There is just as much difference between the form of 
godliness and the power of godliness as there is be- 
tween a hollow tree and a sound tree. The hollow 
tree is the nest of bats, owls, reptiles, squirrels, rac- 
coons ; whereas, the sound tree is profitable for its tim- 
ber, out of which can be manufactured many articles 
of usefulness. The heart of the man who has but the 
form of godliness is the home of sin, iniquity, Satan, 
and rebellion ; whereas, the heart of the man who has 
the power of godliness is the home of truth, righteous- 
ness, and love. The form of godliness is policy, but 
the power of it is honesty. The form of godliness is 
superficial and assumed, but the power of it is real and 
genuine. The form of godliness is on the lip, but the 
power of it is in the heart. The form of godliness is 
external and full of noise, but the power of godliness is 
internal and full of existence. The form of godliness 
is partial reformation, but the power of godliness is 


thorough reformation. The form of godliness is hear- 
ing, but the power of it is doing. The form of godli- 
ness owns the Bible, but the power of it reads the 
Bible. The form of godliness is zealous for the sect, 
but the power of it is zealous for Christ. The form of 
godliness is easy, cheap, and common, but the power 
of it is difficult, costly and rare. 


Not he who thinks the most, nor he who knows the 
most, nor he who hears the most, nor he who pretends 
the most, but he who exercises the most faith has the 
sweetest communion with God, draws the most consola- 
tion from Christianity, and is of the most use to human- 
ity. To be godly is to exercise humility, that we may 
be more like Jesus. To be godly is to exercise pa- 
tience, that we may be able to accomplish our purposes 
in life. To be godly is to exercise forbearance, that 
we may be able to live in peace with our fellow- 
men. To be godly is to exercise self-denial, that all 
evil habits, practices and associates may be given up. 
To be godly ia to exercise the understanding, that we 
may know more of our duty, and of God's holy word. 
To be godly is to exercise our zeal and sincerity, that 
others may see our good works, and glorify our Father 
who is in heaven. To be godly is to exercise the 
tongue, that the gospel of Jesus Christ may be- 
preached unto every creature. To be godly is to prac- 
tice charity, benevolence, and love, that the hungry 
may be fed, the naked clothed, the prisoner visited, 
the sick healed, the unfortunate cared for, the lost 
saved, humanity blessed, and the name of Jesus glori- 
fied. Such godliness is profitable for the well-being of 


humanity, the advancement of civilization, the pros- 
perity of the commonwealth, the happiness in the 
home, the peace of the heart, and the education of the 


We are told that the fear of the Lord prolongeth 
days, and preserves from the snares of death. How can 
a man, devoured with ambition and avarice, expect to 
be healthy ? How can a man who* dissipates in the 
race-course, the gambling den, the theater, and the 
ball-room, expect to be healthy ? How can the man 
who drinks intoxicating liquors, eats to gluttony, and 
consumes himself in lewdness, expect to be healthy ? 
How can a man who is filthy in his habits, and uncleanly 
in his person, expect to be healthy? Godliness is a 
bar to all these. If these excesses and sins destroy the 
health, godliness, on the other hand, will preserve it, 
because it teaches moderation and temperance in all 
things. Many youths do not believe it, hence they 
run to excess, and are frequently only checked by bit- 
ter experiences. Would you have length of days, 
would you be preserved from the snares of sin, would 
you have luster in the eye, redness in the cheek, and 
strength in the body, constitution and mind, be godly, 
because godliness is profitable to the health. 


Do you desire the reputation of a man who curbs 
his appetites, who tames his spirit, who is diligent in 
his business, who provides things honest in the sight of 
men, who seasons his conversation with salt, who lets 
the sun not go down upon his wrath, who is kind, 


tender-hearted, and forgiving ; who practices whatsoever 
things are just, pure, holy, upright, lovely, and of good 
report ; who has influence amongst his fellow-men ; then 
be godly, because godliness teaches all these precepts, 
and would have you practice them. 


There is a happiness arising from the pleasures of 
sense — from seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and 
feeling. Godliness objects not to any innocent pleas- 
ure arising from this source. There is also a pleasure 
arising from success in business, conveniences in the 
home, and influence in society. Godliness is in sym- 
pathy with all honorable pleasure in this direction. 
But the great happiness arising from godliness is neither 
in rank, nor station, nor birth, nor business, nor in the 
pleasures of the senses; but it is in the enjoyment of 
God's favors— the pardon of sins, the indwelling of the 
Spirit, and the hope of immortality. Godliness gives 
contentment, and that contributes to the happiness. 
Contentment is that state of mind which reconciles us 
to all unavoidable evils, which makes us indifferent to 
all impossible good, which teaches us to submit unre- 
piningly to whatsoever befalls us, which teaches us never 
to borrow trouble, but in sickness or health, poverty 
or wealth, to be content. The happiest people on 
earth are the godliest people Their motto is, ' ' Rejoice 


Ungodly people have no peace. There is no peace 
in the heart of the man who thinks of the past with re- 
morse, of the present with confusion, and of the future 


with dread. That man has no happiness whose ambi- 
tion says, Enjoy, and whose covetousness says, Keep. 
There is no such conflict in the heart of the godly man. 
His paths are paths ot peace. He is settled in mind, 
and has rest for his soul. Godliness also recognizes 
social peace, and favors civil liberty and order. It be- 
gan with " Peace on earth and good will to men." It 
continues teaching its subjects to render unto Caesar 
the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things 
that are God's. Hence, the greatest disorder and 
confusion are found in ungodly communities, and the 
greatest peace and order in godly communities. 


We are told, " He that forsaketh houses and lands, 
or father or mother, for my sake, shall receive an hun- 
dred fold in this life, and eternal life to come." "Seek 
first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all 
these thing shall be added unto you." " Whatsoever 
the righteous man doeth, in that he shall prosper, his 
leaf shall not wither." " The little that the righteous 
man hath is better than the abundance of the wicked." 
" Once I was young, but now I am old, and I have 
never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed 
begging bread." No good thing is held from God's 
people. He shall bring forth his fruit in season. He 
shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. His 
efforts shall not be lost. He may not prosper as he de- 
sires, but his prosperity will be such as will develop in 
him patience, long-suffering, gentleness, love, and 
brotherly kindness. It is not outward prosperity he 
wants so much as soul prosperity. His worst things 


come out for the best. He finds a blessing wrappd up 
in every curse. He finds a crown in all of his crosses, 
losses, and sorrows ; but the ungodly are not so, they 
are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. They 
may build great things, lay up much gold, and travel 
on the highway, but their riches and their way will per- 
ish with them. Godliness teaches industry, diligence, 
and honesty to the citizens of the nation, and those 
nations that practice godliness are the wealthiest na- 
tions on earth. They are leading the world in com- 
merce. Their ships whiten every sea, their wires en- 
circle every land, their cargoes are borne to every port, 
and their riches are increased in every direction. 
Whereas, the ungodly nations writhe in poverty, woe, 
and want. 


It lifts the soul from under the dominion of sin, 
and fills the mind with longings after truth and holi- 
ness. It leads away from temptation into, that which 
is pure and lofty. It assigns a high place to truth. It 
teaches men to think. It tolerates liberty of thought. 
It proposes great questions to study; it furnishes wis- 
dom and knowledge. It introduces questions whose 
heights have never been scaled, and whose depths have 
never been fathomed. Those questions of salvation, 
of immortality, of life, of death, of eternity, of the 
greatness of the soul, are all questions involving hard 
study. Christian nations are the first nations in the 
world. They are leading the world in thought. They 
have lifted science and art to its present standard. They 
have written the world's great books ; searched out the 
hidden secrets of nature ; solved many of the myste 


ries of the universe ; invented labor-saving machin- 
ery, and won all the victories in thought. Godli- 
ness favors our public schools, academies, and col- 
leges ; and nine-tenths of the teachers of these are 
godly in thought, in heart, and in conduct. 


It gives its subjects access to good society. It 
places young men and women in company with those 
who will protect their reputation, and make their 
mothers feel at rest as regards the security of their 
morals. It gives access to the Sunday-school, the 
young people's society, the congregation, and the 
homes of the individual members. It withdraws from 
all associations that are low, mean, and unsafe. It 
turns away from all scoffers, unbelievers, adulterers, 
and wickedness. It fosters only that which is virtuous 
in the heart, holy in desire, and pure in mind. 


It teaches that marriage is sacred, and that husband 
and wife should honor, cherish, and love each other; 
that they should bring up their children in the nurture 
and admonition of God, and that piety should be prac- 
ticed in the home. It makes the home the dwelling- 
place of truth, purity, gentleness, kindness and love. 
It excludes everything that is injurious to the friend- 
ship and damaging to the character. It bestows great 
consolation in the hour of sorrow and grief. It teaches 
its subjects to weep with those who weep, as well as 
to rejoice with those who rejoice. It would have the 


affections set upon things above, and lay up its treas- 
ures where moth or rust can neither corrupt nor con- 


It teaches the freedom of the will. It engages the 
will to form great purposes, and to stretch forward in 
the achieving and attaining of them. It trains the will 
in firmness, power, and endurance, and inspires it 
with examples of heroic self-denial, labor, and martyr-' 


One hundred years ago the cannibals tore away the 
little children from the arms of their mothers, tossed 
them in the air, ran them through with the spear, thrust 
them into boiling water, and tore the flesh of their own 
flesh from the bone, and devoured it as a hungry wolf 
devours the wild hare. Christianity went into the land 
of the cannibals ; it opened the Bible ; it taught 
them of Jesus, of sin, of salvation, and of heaven ; and 
to-day, instead of devouring their offspring, they pro- 
tect them, and partake of the Lord's Supper. England, 
Scotland, Germany and the United States are in the 
van of civilization. Those lands are dotted and decked 
with churches. They have opened Bibles, and an effi- 
cient ministry. Mexico, South America, Spain, 
Turkey, Italy, and Austria, are but half civilized. 
There the Bible is closed, the progress of Christianity 
is obstructed, and the profitableness of godliness is not 
proclaimed. Large portions of the earth are in the dark- 
ness of heathenism; there the Bible is unheard of, the 
word of God has not free course, and they have not a 



Christian ministry. Thus we see that godliness is profit- 
able for civilization. No society outside of the church is 
organized for the purpose of civilizing the savage, dis- 
pelling the clouds of misery, ignorance, superstition, 
and woe. In the church are hundreds of organized 
societies, which support thousands of missionaries who 
have converted millions of heathens. 


In the hour of death it gives a foretaste of the life 
to come. The ungodly fear and tremble on the verge 
of the grave. They shrink back from drinking the 
bitter cup. Whereas, the believer beholds that dispen- 
sation beyond, which he has embraced by faith, and 
possessed by hope, and tasted by the comforts of the 
Spirit. He knows in whom he has believed, and he is 
persuaded that he is able to save him in the hour of 
death, and anchor him safely on the golden shores. 
In that world to come he receives crowns of righteous- 
ness, palms of victory, harps of praise, angelic society, 
perfection in spirit, and an honorable, immortal, spirit- 
ual, and glorious body. 


Wherever there are sick to be visited, drooping 
hearts to cheer, and the despairing to be encouraged ; 
wherever conscience pricks the soul, wherever men feel 
the burden of sin, wherever Poverty flaps her broad 
wings, wherever homes are desolate, wherever death 
reigns, wherever iniquity dwells, there godliness is 
needed; needed to pardon, illumine, and save. It is 
needed by the strong as well as the weak, by the rich 
as well as the poor, by the married as well as the 


single. It is needed to make better fathers and moth- 
ers, and more obedient sons and daughters. It is 
needed in the foundation of schools and governments. 
It is needed to procure peace in the heart, in the home, 
in the commonwealth, and between nations. It is 
needed at all times. Everywhere it has gone it has 
done good. It is needed to open up the sympathies of 
love ; needed to lead to the contemplation of the pure, 
the noble, the lofty, the beautiful, and the good; 
needed to give health, patience, temperance, charity, 
and love. For all these things it is profitable. The read- 
ing of the Bible is profitable, in that it makes us wise unto 
salvation. The Lord's day is profitable, in that it 
reminds us that Christ rose from the dead. The 
Lord's Supper is profitable, in that it reminds us of 
Christ's sufferings and death. The Sunday-school is 
profitable, in that it brings up the children in the way 
they should go. The young people's society is profit- 
able, in that it preserves them from the snares of the 
wicked. The missionary societies are profitable, in 
that they carry light and love, pardon and hope, to the 
heathen. Preaching is profitable, in that it instructs 
sinners in what to do to be saved, and edifies Chris- 
tians. All church work is profitable, in that it does 
good to all who engage in it, and to all who come 
under its benign and elevating teachings and influ- 
ences. Seeing, then, that godliness is profitable for so 
many things, is it not wisdom for every young man 
and woman to obtain it, and to exercise it ? Let all 
who have godliness go forth exercising their faith, 
their patience, their humility, their understanding, and 
their hope. Let them go forth in a labor cf love, 
knowing; that there is no want that is for the benefit of 


the soul but what God will supply, and no temptation, 
nor trial, nor affliction for which he will not give sup- 
port and deliverance, and no c jmfort needed but what 
he will bestow. 


* We are told that sin is the transgression of the law. 
Men everywhere recognize the distinction between 
right and wrong, just as sure as light is universal, 
sin is universal. It is said that by one man sin entered 
the world, and all have sinned. " They are all gone 
astray." "The heart is deceitful above all things." 
The carnal mind is enmity against God. It is natural 
for the wolf to bark and bite, for the rattlesnake to coil 
and strike, and it is just as natural for man to sin. He 
is born in sin. Instead of men always mastering them- 
selves, sin often masters them. Were dice thrown a 
thousand times, and " sixes " would come up every 
time, you would say that the dice were loaded. And 
so it is With sin. We see it everywhere, amongst all 
nations, and all people of all nations, and hence we say 
it is universal. 

The besetting sin is the sin which is hardest to give 
up. . The besetting sin is the master sin, like the master 
bee of the hive. It is the Goliath of the Philistines, 
it is the Samson of the Israelites. It is the mournful pre- 
disposition to continually yield to a certain temptation. 
The besetting sin is the one with which it is so hard 
to part ; it is that sin with which you are most in love ; 
it is that sin which pricks you most under conviction, 
in sorrow, and in sight of death ; it is that sin which 
most occupies your thoughts ; it is that sin about 

The End 


which you have to be reproved. It is the worst habit, 
and is generally of long standing. How often do you 
hear a man say : "I have no trouble in giving up all 
sin but this one," "It is hard for me to get rid of 
this one fault"? A captain of a certain boat fell in 
with a party of traveling men, and by his winning 
manners and pleasing conversation impressed them as 
being a man of manliness and excellent character. A 
few moments after, they heard him on the deck below, 
using profane language concerning some order which 
he had given and which had not been executed. Be- 
fore the end of the journey, they learned that swearing 
was that captain's besetting sin. A besetting sin is 
like a huge wart on the end of the nose, which disfig- 
ures the whole face. The besetting sin of England is 
caste ; of France, skepticism ; of South America, idol- 
atry ; and of the United States, intemperance. The 
besetting sin of some people is exaggeration; of some, 
fault-finding; of some, dishonesty ; of some, profanity ; 
of some, licentiousness, and of some, contention. We 
are told that they that offend in one point are guilty 
of all. When you hear people say, " Let that sin live, " 
or "Let my sins go, excepting this one," they are dis- 
obeying a positive command, which says : " Let us lay 
aside every weight and sin that doth so easily beset 
us, and run the race that is before us. " Everybody 
who has a besetting sin should strive to overcome it. 
This can be done by striving against it, by cultivating 
the opposite virtue, by looking to Jesus for deliver- 

Secret sins. — Many people are guilty of sins which 
are hidden from their associates and from the world 
around them. These sins are known only to God and 


to themselves. Nearly every dog has a bone hidden 
away from the sight and smell of all other dogs. So it 
is with some people ; they have hidden sins, secret 
desires, secret thoughts, and secret deeds which are 
sinful. If they could be revealed to the eyes of man as 
they are to the eyes of God, what shame and disgrace 
would be made known ! There are scores of people 
whose public life is acceptable, but whose private life 
is marred and blurred with private sins. Many people 
who start in life with buoyant spirits and high aims are 
cut down in their career, and, without apparent cause, 
sink into obscurity and the grave. God knows that 
some secret sin was the cause of their failure. An 
eagle was seen soaring through the heavens ; he as- 
cended with rapid flight, upward, and still upward \ 
but suddenly the strokes of his wings grew feeble ; soon 
he began to descend, and before reaching the ground 
he ceased to fly, dropped his wings, and fell to the 
earth. The man who had watched him ran to him, and 
found that he had carried a serpent in his talons, which, 
though unseen by the man, had fastened his fangs into 
the flesh, and sent the poison to the heart of the great 
bird. So it is with young men and women who start 
in the world with secret sins ; the world around may 
not know of their secret sins ; they may run well for a 
season, but they will be checked in their career, and 
sink into untimely graves. " He that covereth his sins 
shall not prosper ; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh 
them shall have mercy." 

Little sins.— Many people who are guilty of no great 
sins are often guilty of many little ones. They are not 
troubled by the biting dog, but are bitten by the little 
fleas. They would not think of cursing God, of steal- 


ing, of adultery, of murder ; yet they are willing to be 
guilty of numerous little sins, which sear the soul, and 
weaken the character. They escape the rock, but 
wreck upon the sand. Little sins are like the little 
leaven, which leaveneth the whole lump. They keep 
swelling and increasing until their influence is felt 
through the body, soul, and mind. A little lamp 
started the Chicago fire. The most annoying cancers 
had small beginnings. Little grains of sand, flying in 
clouds, overtake and smother whole caravans. Little 
drops of water first made their way through the dam. 
which soon became a tunnel, and then a mighty rush 
of water, and Johnstown was swept away. A little 
worm in a plank of a ship can do as much damage as a 
cannon ball. A scratch in a diamond will lessen its 

„ A pebble in the streamlet cast 

Has changed the source of many a river ; 
A drop of dew on a tender plant 
Has warped the giant oak forever." 

So with these little sins ; they often change the whole 
course of life for evil. They often ruin what otherwise 
might have made a strong and useful character. 

One of the greatest light-houses in the tropical re- 
gions of the Atlantic was one time so obscured by a 
host of small insects which surrounded it that it appeared 
as though a great cloud had settled over it. So it is 
with these little sins ; they gather around the life until 
they obscure the light which would gleam from the 

The sins of youth. — An old man once wrote that his 
bones were full of the sins of his youth, and that he 
would lie down with them in the dust. Thousands of 


eld people regret the sins which they committed in the 

days of their youth. They were warned, but they 

heeded nor. They sowed their "wild oats," and they 

have to reap the consequences. Perhaps you have 

heard c: the boy who, in obedience to his father's wish, 

drove a nail into a post every time he committed a bad 

deed. The post was soon filled with nails. His father 

then commanded him to draw out a nail every time 

he committed a good deed or resisted a temptation. 

In the course of time the nails were all taken out of 

the post. The boy was seen standing by the post 

weeping, and when asked why he wept, since he had 

taken the nails all :a:„ he answered : "Oh, but, father, 

the holes are still there." Thus it is with tne sins oi 

our youth; the-." leave their impressions, which are 

lasting, Every time a youth sins, it makes an impres- 
sion on his heart which will have to be carried through 
life. In after life the tracks of youthful sins can be 
traced upon the tablets of the heart, just as the tracks 
of birds are traced upon fossils. Experience is a hard 
teacher, and the young person who thinks that he can 
live a life of sin during his early days, and break off 
from them without experiencing any evil effects, makes 
a fatal mistake. They will be sorry of their youthful 
sins before death. If they live to old age. when 
strength and vigor are so greatly needed, they will only 
reflect upon the sins of their youth with shame, tears, 
and sorrow. 

Presumptuous sins. — These are willful and deliberate 
sins. These are premeditated words and acts of un- 
kindness and cruelty. It was presumptuous on the 
part of Bonaparte to march against nations which were 
in peace. Judas deliberately sold Christ ; in this he 


committed a presumptuous sin. The man who willfully 
gets drunk, or swears, or lies, or steals, commits a pre- 
sumptuous sin. The man who deliberately desecrates 
the Lord's day is a presumptuous sinner. These sins 
should be avoided, as they are most dangerous in their 
effects and consequences. "But the soul that doeth 
aught presumptuously, whether he be born in the land 
or a stranger, the same reproacheth the Lord ; and that 
soul shall be cut off from among his people." 

Sins of commission are those sins which are com- 
mitted, things which we actually do. Oftentimes we 
say and do things for which we are very sorry, and 
which would never have been said or done had we 
been more considerate. In conversation many things 
are carelessly spoken which should not escape the lips. 
At home, on the street, and in society, many things 
are thoughtlessly done which are sinlul, and which 
cause trouble and sorrow. These numerous sins, com- 
mitted in our unwatchful and unguarded hours, are 
commonly called sins of commission. The best are daily 
guilty of these sins. Many of these can be avoided by 
carefully watching against them at all times and in all 

Sins of omission are also numerous. There are 
many people who commit but few bad things, but 
fail to do a great many good things. Sins of omis- 
sion are just as bad as sins of commission. When 
your friend is sick, and you are needed to visit him, 
and you do not, the failure to perform this duty is 
equally as sinful as to speak unkindly of him. If your 
neighbor is in distress, and you can relieve him, and 
do not, are you not guilty of keeping him in distress? 
The cataract in the eye, or the carbuncle on the neck, 


could easily have been removed had they received the 
necessary surgical treatment in due season. Omit to 
pay the taxes, and the property will be sold to pay 
them. So it is with the mind and soul. If you fail to 
read good books, the mind will be dull, and you will be 
numbered with the uneducated. Forsake attending 
the church, and reading the Scriptures, and commun- 
ing with God, and the loss of spirituality in the soul 
will readily be noticed. There is a story about a rich 
man on earth who refused to give a crumb to a poor 
beggar, and who was afterwards refused a drop of 
water to quench his burning thirst. We are told that 
when Christ shall come in his glory, and the holy 
angels with him, many shall depart from his pres- 
ence, because they gave the hungry no meat, the 
thirsty no drink, clothed not the naked, visited not the 
sick, and took not the stranger in. 

Thus we see the neglect of performing a duty is as 
great a sin as committing an offense which is con- 
demned in the eyes of God. When the squirrel sits 
still upon the bough he is in danger of being shot. 
So the idle man is in danger of being shot with temp- 

What shall be done with sin ? We have noticed that 
sin is universal, and we have considered the besetting 
sins, the secret sins, the - little sins, the youthful sins, 
the presumptuous sins, and the sins of omission and 
commission. Now, what shall be done with these sins? 

Forsake litem. They should be forsaken, because 
they are deceiving. The jingle of the thirty pieces of 
silver sounded sweet in the ears of Judas when he first 
betrayed Jesus ; but at last, when he dashed them on 
the floor, how dull and harsh was the sound. Sin 


always comes with fair promises and enticing smiles, 
but at last it deceives, mocks, and scorns. The wine 
sparkles, but at last it " stingeth like an adder and 
biteth like a serpent." 

In a hall, in Rome, there was once kept the statue 
of a beautiful virgin. The sculptor and painter had 
exhausted their skill in adding charm and beauty to 
the statue. The lovely arms were outstretched as 
though to embrace. The eyes spoke the invitation ; 
the lips offered the kiss ; but as soon as the victim 
stepped forth to be encircled by the white arms, and 
meet with the caress of love, he was seized with a 
grasp of terror ; the bosom opened, a hundred knives 
darted forth, a forked tongue shot from the mouth, 
and poison from the teeth. The inviting form had 
daggers, poison, vengeance, and death, encased behind 
the fair exterior. And so it is with sin : at first it 
smiles in beauty, and invites with sweetness like honey, 
but at last it cheats, deludes, beguiles and deceives. 

Sin should be forsaken, for it enslaves its victims. A 
captain of a vessel was one day walking carelessly along 
by the ocean side at low tide. He did not see, ex- 
tended before him, a great chain, one end of which was 
fastened to a ring fixed in a stone on the shore, the 
other to an anchor sunk in the ocean. He stumbled 
against it, and his foot passed through one of the links 
of the chain, and he could not draw it back again. He 
struggled violently to extricate himself, but all in vain. 
He called for help, and some men hastened to his as- 
sistance. They strained every nerve to drag the foot 
through the chain, but it was beginning to swell, and 
all their efforts were in vain. To unfasten or take 
away the chain was impossible ; there was no time to 


be lost, for the tide was coming in, and the water rose 
every moment. One of them ran for a smith to saw 
the chain, but when he came his tools were found not 
to be powerful enough, and when he had returned from 
the village with others, the tide had arisen, the mighty- 
waves were rolling in, and the water now reached the 
unfortunate man's waist, and they were forced to go 
out to him in boats, and the smith saw that he could 
do nothing. Oh ! the agony of that moment ! There 
is one last resort. He must sacrifice his leg to save 
his life. A surgeon came with all speed, bringing his 
instruments, but when the doctor arrived upon the 
spot he found the water had reached the man's neck. 
He was too late. Oh! the agony of that moment! 
The tide rolled in and covered his head. All was over. 
He was lost. 

The chain which, through carelessness, he does not 
see, is the snare which Satan spreads for you. The 
ring in which his foot is caught is sin. The rising 
tide is death. There is not a moment to be lost — 
every passing hour renders the chain of sin stronger, 
and salvation more uncertain. No smith has power to 
sunder that chain ; there is no surgeon skillful enough 
to sever that which binds you to your sin. What will 
become of you ? There is a Saviour. One only — 
Jesus is his name. He can save you, deliver you, set 
you free. Sin has a small beginning, but in the end it 
enslaves its victim ; it rushes the victim on, and at last 
hurls him over the great Niagara, into eternity, Man 
often becomes such a servant of sin that the most stren- 
uous efforts to break loose from its fangs prove vain 
and futile. Oh, how many poor victims of sin struggle 
to break loose from its iron grasp, like wild animals, 


trying to break from their iron cages. ' ' He made a 
pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he 
made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, 
and violent dealings shall come down upon his own 

Sin should be forsaken, because of the loss of physical 
power which it inflicts upon its victims. No matter 
how strong in body, no matter how vigorous in constitu- 
tion, a life of sin will, at last, weaken the body and 
wreck the constitution. To make the body a strong, 
useful, and beautiful temple of the soul, and not a load 
and burden for the soul, is worthy of considerable time 
and attention. When men disregard the laws of health 
and temperance, and recklessly gratify their appetites, 
they become old in body while they are young in years. 
Disease follows sin. Do not the bloated faces, red 
noses, blurred eyes, and softened muscles, speak of the 
terrible effects of sin ? Dissipation fires the blood, 
strains the nerves, and saps the very life from the 
body. The man who leads the life of sin soon wants 
stimulants and medicines to assist in making up the 
loss which sin has inflicted on his body. " Can a man 
take fire into his bosom, and his clothes not be burned ; LJ 
can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be •■' 
burned ? " 

Sin should be forsaken because of the loss of mental 
power which follows it. With a weakened body goes 
a weakened mind. Sin weakens the faculties and de- 
troys the intellect. Strong minds feed upon truth and 
virtue. All great men who have attained a ripe old 
age have been men of virtue and temperance. Byron 
and Poe, who drank of the cup of dissipation, were 
cut. down in the prime of life. The fumes of lust and 


gratified desires clouded the brain and dimmed the 
vision. If you desire to retain vivacity of spirit, 
strength of body, and strength of intellect, you must 
forsake sin and cling to truth and virtue. 

Sin should be forsaken because of the loss of spiritual 
power which follows it. No one can grow in grace and 
the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
and lead a life of sin. The spirit of man feeds upon 
love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, patience, 
and kindness. These beautiful graces and noble traits 
of character are never seen in the spirit of a sinful 
man. If sin governs the man, the spiritual powers are 
weakened, the spiritual enjoyments lessened, and at 
last sin reigns in the heart instead of the graces of the 

Sin should be forsaken because it brings shame, trouble, 
poverty, and disgrace. Sin cast Adam out of the 
Garden of Eden ; sin made Cain a vagabond and 
wanderer upon the earth ; sin brought the flood upon 
all the inhabitants of the earth except Noah and his 
family ; sin destroyed Pharaoh and his hosts ; sin 
brought fire and brimstone down upon Sodom and 
Gomorrah, and sin brought death to Absolom, and Eli's 
children. The prodigal son spent all that he had, and 
then famine, poverty, and want were his. Dishonest 
clerks and treasurers can testify of the trouble which 
sin has brought upon them. The convicts in our peni 
tentiaries can testify to the shame and disgrace of sin. 
Every sin that is committed breeds trouble to the soul. 
"He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man." 
Seeing the disgrace, dishonor, shame, and poverty 
which follow a life of sin, should it not be forsaken ? 
A woman whose husband had made himself kino- of 


Scotland by means of murder, and who had been 
the prompter and partner of his crimes, would walk in 
her sleep, and rub her hands as though washing them, 
crying, ' ' Yet here is a spot. . . What, will 

these hands never be clean ? Here is the 

smell of blood still : all the perfumes of Asia will not 
sweeten this little hand." Thus it is that sin brings a 
shame and trouble which can not be undone. It puts 
a stain upon the soul which can not be erased by time, 
and which can only be washed away by Jesus the 

Sin should be forsaken because of the evil consequences 
which it entails upon others. They are not confined to 
those who commit the sins. The sins of Saul brought 
death to his sons. We are told that sometimes the third 
and fourth generations suffer for the sins of the parents. 
Weak, feeble, nervous, and irritable children are often 
the result of the sins of the parents. The evil influ- 
ences and bad effects of sin are seen on many others 
besides the relations of those who committed it. For 
instance, the man who writes a bad book will contami- 
nate many minds. A corrupt youth may commit a 
sin in the presence of many associates, and thus teach 
them to do the same. Hence we see the evil conse- 
quences of sin are wide and far-reaching, and not con- 
fined alone to those who commit them. « 

Sin should be forsaken because it caused the death of 
Christ. He bare the curse of sin on the tree. His 
dreadful agonies in the Garden of Gethsemane, and 
upon the cross, tell how God hated sin. When the 
Romans saw the blood issuing from Caesar's wounds, 
their hearts were stirred to mutiny, and they arose in 
vengeance against his murderers. So when we sec 


the blood of Christ, and know that sin caused it, should 
we not arise and wage a vigorous warfare against sin, 
cast it out of our members, and warn others of its fatal 
and dreadful effects ? 

Another reason that sin should be forsaken is that it 
brings death and destruction. " Stolen waters are sweet, 
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth 
not that the dead are there, and that her guests 
are in the depths of hell." Sin is the cause of every 
murder and every suicide. It brings death to the 
drunkard and vicious. The end of sin is death. 
"The wages of sin is death." Death of body, soul, 
and mind. Death to God's love and presence. Death 
to usefulness, virtue, and long life. It precipitates 
into the second death, where there is destruction to all 
light, love, joy, peace, happiness, and hope. Seeing, 
then, the fatal effects and consequences of sin — 
the loss, trouble, poverty, shame, and destruction 
which follow it — should it not be forsaken ? Should 
not all sinful temptations be resisted ? Should we not 
kill it before it kills us? Should we not separate our- 
selves from it, before it separates us forever from the 
presence of God and the angels? 



In what business shall I engage ? To what form of 
government shall I adhere ? Where shall I make my 
home ? What books shall I read ? and Whom shall I 
choose as my associates? are all great questions. There 
are many great questions in connection with the life 
that now is; but the greatest question, in time and 
eternity, is, What am I doing with Jesus who is called 
the Christ ? 

Notwithstanding this being the age of invention, 
education, business, science, and politics, there is no 
question which is moving more pens, commanding more 
tongues, exciting more thought, demanding more at- 
tention, and calling out deeper interest than the ques- 
tion about Jesus the Christ, His portrait stands first 
in art ; his biographies stand first in literature; his 
followers stand first as the intellectual and moral lights 
of the world ; and his religion is doing more to elevate 
humanity, bind up the broken-hearted, loose the cap- 
tive, lessen vice, and civilize the savage, than all other 
instrumentalities on earth. 


There is but little comparison between earth and 
heaven, time and eternity, the bodily with the spiritual 


interests, and between man and God. This question 
respects the care of our souls, the pardon of sins, and 
the education and preparation for eternity. Under the 
calamities of life, in the face of death, and in sight of 
judgment, this question is paramount to all others. 


Something must be done with Jesus. He must be 
accepted or rejected. It was imperative that Pilate 
do something with Jesus ; the same necessity rests 
upon every one ; there is no middle ground. It is im- 
perative that the taxes be paid, or the property will 
be sold. It is imperative that the body be fed, or 
death will ensue. It is imperative that you educate 
the mind, or it will lapse into ignorance ; and it is im- 
perative that man be prepared for heaven, or he will 
never enter there. It is necessary that man confess 
the name of Christ in this world, or Christ will not 
confess his name in the world to come. It is necessary 
to be numbered with his disciples in time, in order to 
be amongst the saved in eternity. 


Every man and woman is individually responsible. 
'' ' The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, 
nor the children be put to death for the fathers ; but 
every man shall be put to death for his own sin." 
" Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." "Work 
out you own salvation in fear and trembling." It is 
personal to the rich ; though with their wealth they 
can scarcely enter the kingdom of heaven, yet if they 
do not favorably decide this question, they will be 
spiritually poor in time and eternity. It is a personal 


question to the poor ; though they be troubled with 
what they shall eat, what they shall drink, and where- 
withal they shall be clothed, yet if they do not favor- 
ably decide this question, they will be eternally poor. 
It is a personal question to the young and the old, the 
weak and the strong. None can escape responsibility. 
Each has sinned, and each must seek for pardon. 


It troubled the Jews to such an extent that their 
scribes, doctors, and chief priests assembled to discuss 
and decide what to do with Jesus. They entertained 
all sorts of opinions about him, and no doubt made all 
sorts of suggestions as how to dispose of him. They 
finally concluded to arrest him, and see if they could 
not find cause to condemn him to death. The)' sent out 
a band of people with clubs and lanterns, who arrested 
Jesus, bound him, and led him to the court-room. 
They suborned witnesses to swear falsely against him ; 
they questioned him ; they decided to reject him, and 
condemn him to death. But it was not lawful for them 
to put any man to death without first obtaining the 
consent of Pilate, the Roman governor; accordingly 
Jesus was taken to Pilate. He proved a troublesome 
question for Pilate, who listened to their accusations, 
and then said unto them: "Take ye him and judge 
him according to your law." Pilate was a Roman, and 
did n't want to be troubled with their matters ; but, 
according to their laws, Pilate was compelled to give 
them a hearing. After they further accused Jesus, 
Pilate took him to one side, and examined him. He 
then came out, and said unto the Jews : " I find in him 
no fault at all." "And they were the more fierce, say- 


ing, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all 
Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place." When 
Pilate learned that he was a Galilean, he thought he 
would dismiss the troublesome question by sending 
him to Herod, the ruler of Galilee, who was then in 
Jerusalem. Herod was unable to decide the trouble- 
some question, and so he arrayed him in a gorgeous 
robe and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate now con- 
ceives of another way to dismiss this troublesome 
question: "Ye have a custom that I should release 
unto you one at the Passover. Whom will ye that I 
release unto you, Barabbas the robber, or Jesus who is 
called Christ?" And about this time he received a 
letter from his wife, who was also troubled about Jesus, 
saying : " Have thou nothing to do with that just man, 
for I have suffered many things this day in a dream 
because of him." "But the chief priests and elders 
persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Bar- 
abbas, and destroy Jesus ; " and when the governor said 
unto them, " Whether of the twain will ye that I re- 
lease unto you?" they said unto him, "Barabbas the 
robber." Pilate, more deeply troubled, unwilling to 
decide the question, submits it to their decision by 
saying, "What shall I do, then, with Jesus?'' And 
they cried out, " Crucify him, crucify him." And in 
Pilate's trouble, he sayeth unto them : " Shall I crucify 
your king? " And they said unto him : " We have no 
king but Caesar. If thou let this man go, thou art not 
Caesar's friend." "And when the governor saw that 
he could prevail nothing, he took water and washed 
his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent 
of the blood of this just person. See ye to it." And 
when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be 


crucified. And they led him away, and crucified him. 
Thus the Jews thought they were rid of this trouble- 
some question. But no, it was only a temporary 
overthrow. Three days he seemed dead to this world, 
yet he was alive, and moving in triumphal march in 
another world. On the morn of the third day his 
spirit came back from hades and his body from the 
tomb ; for forty days he mingled with his disciples, 
and then told them to go into all the world and preach 
the gospel unto every creature, beginning at Jerusalem. 
They began preaching at Jerusalem, which had been 
favored with so many means of instruction, which was 
the capital of the Jewish nation, and which was the 
scene of Christ's crucifixion. To these worldly Jews 
who had rejected Jesus, came the declaration that 
"God hath made that same Jesus whom ye crucified, 
both Lord and Christ." The troublesome question 
is not yet settled. Again it is pressed upon them ; 
again it is put to them with more earnestness, more 
boldness, and greater demonstration of its importance. 
Many of them cried out : " What shall we do ? " They 
were told to repent and be baptized in the name of 
Jesus for the remission of sins, and they should receive 
the gift of the Holy Ghost. Some mocked ; some were 
astounded at the doctrine and miracles ; some said, We 
will hear again concerning this matter. The majority of 
the Jews rejected this Jesus, and instituted a series of 
dreadful persecutions against his followers, which 
scattered them abroad. Everywhere they met they 
preached this Jesus and the resurrection ; they pressed 
upon the people the need of salvation — the offer of par- 
don, full and free, through this same Jesus who was 
crv.cified and raised from the dead. Thus they preached 


in Samaria, in Antioch, in Galatia, Bythinia, Pontus, 
Berea, Philippi, Ephesus, Athens, Rome, and through- 
out nearly all the world. This question they brought 
before Jews and Gentiles, male and female, barba- 
rians and Scythians, scribes and Pharisees, Roman and 
Jewish tribunals, kings and peasants. Felix, on his 
throne, trembles when the righteousness of this Jesus 
is presented unto him ; King Agrippa is almost per- 
suaded to accept him ; Dionysius, the Athenian libra- 
rian, accepts this Jesus as his Christ. Great congre- 
gations of people assemble in all the leading cities to 
hear this great question discussed, and in some places 
the pagan gods and magic books are burned, to give 
way to the Word of this Jesus, which so mightily grew 
and prevailed. From Dan to Beersheba, and from 
center to circumference, the earth was stirred up on 
this great question. Coming down through the ages, 
it has ever been, and is to-day, the greatest of all 


One class of people say, " We accept him as an 
exalted pattern of humanity, but not as the divine Son 
of God," and they say this in the face of his divine 
attributes and perfections. He was from eternity. 
" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was 
with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was 
made flesh, and dwelt among us." " He is before all 
things." "I am before Abraham." "The same 
yesterday, to-day and forever." All knowledge is 
ascribed to him. "Yea, Lord, thou knowest all 
things." "In whom are hid all the treasures of wis- 
dom and knowledge." All power is ascribed to him. 


"All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth." 
By him the worlds were created and are now upheld. 
" He is able to save to the uttermost." He acknowl- 
edged that he was the Son of God, the promised 
Messiah : God so owned him : his disciples and apostles 
so considered him. Notwithstanding these scriptural 
teachings, there are some people who profess to love 
God, but who never sing, nor pray, nor commune, nor 
conduct any religious service in the name of his Son. 

Again the question is asked, What are you doing 
with Jesus ? A great many people who profess to be his 
followers wrap him up in forms, rituals and ceremonies. 
In the words of Mary at the sepulcher, "They have 
taken him away and we know not where they have 
laid him." They estimate him in proportion to the 
ability of the choir to sing, or according to the wealth 
of the church, or the ceremony in the service, or the 
dignity of the membership. No wonder they find so 
little comfort in Christianity and so little delight in 
their Saviour. 

Again the question is asked, What are you doing 
with Jesus ? A considerable number reply, "We are 
doing nothing with him. We are indifferent. We will not 
be pressed into a corner. We find no fault in him. 
We have a high regard for the church, and wish you 
every success, but we prefer to remain indifferent." 
Not so ; none can be indifferent to this great question. 
Listen to the words of this Jesus : " He that is not with 
me is against me. And he that gathereth not with me 
scattereth abroad." "No man can serve two masters." 
Indifference is a terrible cheat, and most ruinous to the 
soul. To be indifferent, or to remain undecided is 
merely a silent rejection of Jesus the Christ. 


Again the question is asked, What are you doing 
with Jesus? This time it is answered by a class of 
people who boast of being truth-seekers, and who 
pride themselves on their scientific speculations. These 
people reject him ; they laugh at those who accept 
him ; they ridicule the doctrine of the atonement ; 
they disown his claims upon their attention ; they dis- 
own his claims upon their souls. Some in their sins 
and ignorance consider his teachings a myth and super- 
stition handed down from the dark ages. The Bible, 
in speaking of this class of people, says, "They are 
corrupt ; they have done abominable works ; there is 
none that doeth good." 

Again the question is put, What are you doing 
with Jesus? and the multitude of the redeemed in 
Christ reply, ' ' We are loving him, trying to serve 
and obey him ; we are trying to grow up into him 
who is Head over all, and striving to constrain others 
to own him as their Saviour." This class have re- 
demption in his blood. Christ is within them the 
hope of glory. In closing we ask the question, 
What have you been doing with Jesus ? What are 
you now doing with Jesus ? What are you going to 
do with Jesus? 

What are you dozng with him as a teacher? ' ' Never 
man spake like this man." " He spake as one having 
authority." " By this man is preached unto you for- 
giveness of sins." Moses, David, Solomon, Plato, 
Demosthenes, and Cicero never spake like this man. 
He possessed more knowledge than all the teachers of 
-this world. He was the author of what he said. He 
knew of the value and importance of what he said. 
He spake with great authority, with great wisdom, 


with great tenderness, with great earnestness, and 
upon the great subjects of salvation from sin, and eter- 
nal life. Are you sitting at his feet, and learning of 
him to be meek and lowly in heart, to inherit bis 
kingdom and to walk the ways of truth, joy, peace 
and love ? 

What are you doing zvith him as a foundation ? Arc 
you building on him ? He is the strong, firm and 
abiding foundation. The foundation of acceptance 
with God : " No man cometh unto the Father save by 
me." The foundation of peace : " We have peace with 
God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The foundation 
of redemption : "In him we have redemption, even the 
forgiveness of sins. " The foundation of hope : " We are 
begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection 
of Jesus Christ from the dead." He is the foundation 
of eternal life: "To whom can we go but unto thee? 
thou hast the words of eternal life." 

What are you going to do with him as a Saviour? He 
came to save from the curse of the law, from the do- 
minion of Satan, from sin, with its guilt, power, and 
doom, and from the terrors of the judgment. He 
proved his ability to save by his life, his tears, his mir- 
acles, his teachings, his death, his resurrection, his as- 
cension ; by what he has done for the world, by those 
whom he has saved. He is willing to save. Hear 
him say : ' ' Come unto me, all ye that labor and are 
heavy laden, and I will give you rest " "Him that 
cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." " Who- 
soever will, let him come." 4 

What are you doing with his lijc / He is a prophet, 
priest and king. He is a saviour, shepherd and friend. • 
His character is blameless. He is without sin — no 


guile in his mouth. He is God-man. He is perfect in 
humility, gentleness, patience, wisdom, and love. All 
noble traits of character as seen in men, meet in per- 
fect harmony in him. He also reflects the image of 
God. Hear what an eminent author says of him : 
' ' Jesus of Nazareth, without money and without arms, 
conquered more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Ma- 
homet, and Napoleon ; without science and learning, 
he shed more light on things human and divine, than 
all philosophers and scholars combined. Without the 
eloquence of schools, he spoke words of life as never 
were spoken before or since, and produced effects 
which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet. Without 
writing a single line, he has set more pens in motion, 
and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, dis- 
cussions, learned volumes, works of art, and sweet 
songs ot praise, than the whole army of great men of 
ancient and modern times. Born in a manger, and 
crucified as a malefactor,- he now controls the destinies 
of the civilized, and rules a spiritual empire which em- 
braces one-third of the inhabitants of the globe. There 
never was, in this world, a life so unpretending, mod- 
est, and lowly in its outward form and conditions, and 
yet producing such extraordinary effects upon all ages, 
nations, and classes of men. The annals of history 
produce no other example of such complete and as- 
tounding success, in spite of the absence of those ma- 
terial, social, literary, and artistic powers and influ- 
ences, which are indispensable to success for -a mere 

What are you doing with him in your homes, in 
your business, in your incomings and outgoings, and 
in your every-day lives ? If you are wise, if you are 


seeking your highest and best interests, you will always 
own him as your teacher, and build upon him for your 
foundation of pardon, peace, hope, and life. Unto all 
who have not accepted him, I appeal to let the New 
Testament answer this great question for you. It will 
tell you to believe in him as the Son of the living 
God, to accept him as your personal Saviour, to re- 
ceive him in all of his offices and fullness to save ; to 
obey his commandments, and to abide in him in pros- 
perity, adversity, happiness, and sorrow. By so doing, 
when he comes again, he will fill your souls with 
joy by saying: "Well done, thou good and faithful 
servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord." 




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